Digital solutions to the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension

My Topol fellowship problem / project:

High blood pressure (hypertension) affects more than 1 in 4 UK adults and is the strongest known risk factor for cardiovascular disease. It is implicated in numerous conditions including stroke, coronary artery disease and heart failure.

Over 5 million adults in the UK do not know they have hypertension, and in those who do, a significant number are sub-optimally treated, or do not take all their prescribed medicines.

During my time as a Topol Digital Fellow I will work on innovative digital solutions to the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension. We will harness the power of electronic health record and patient-held apps for:

1. Remote blood pressure tracking
2. Improving hypertension diagnosis
3. Improving medication adherence
4. Enhancing the patient experience

Our service will allow patients to remotely enter their blood pressure directly into their electronic health record and also upload their wearable data via Apple Health and Google Fit integration. The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that we must be even more judicious with clinical contact. Hence, patients with sub-optimal BP control may be reviewed in a targeted (rather than scheduled) manner, enhancing blood pressure control and reducing the frequency of outpatient visits.

I feel that digital health interventions have great therapeutic potential, but their impacts on health outcomes are less well understood. Through the Topol fellowship I hope to investigate this. Developing the evidence base in this manner will allow such interventions to be scaled and more widely implemented. The NHS is ready for this.

I am a Specialty Registrar in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics at University College Hospital.

I undertake research related to medicines and deliver training to undergraduates and postgraduates on various themes including safe use of medicines, clinical trials and drug development. Our department also runs an inpatient general medicine service.

After completing my undergraduate medical training at Imperial College London, I have gained experience in pre-clinical and clinical research through my previous roles as NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow, and co-investigator at Quintiles Phase I Clinical Trials unit.

It is clear that digital interventions have the potential to revolutionise health, but I feel strongly that we need to adopt an evidence-based and patient-centred approach to their implementation.

Outside of work I enjoy running and playing squash. When it is safe to do so, I hope to be able to explore more of the world.