Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Omron digital health service acts as heart coach

Steve Rogerson
January 14, 2020

At last week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Omron Healthcare launched a digital health service to advance the company's mission of Going for Zero heart attacks and strokes.
The service is based on the firm’s HeartGuide wearable blood pressure monitor and Complete blood pressure monitor with ECG in a single device.
"Omron innovations including HeartGuide and Complete have changed the perception of what a blood pressure monitor can be and how personal heart health technology can become part of our daily routines," said Omron Healthcare president and CEO Ranndy Kellogg. "Consumer demand is soaring, their expectations are higher, and more of them are monitoring regularly and sharing their data with their doctors to advance their treatment for better outcomes."
Omron app downloads and customer feedback show that more consumers are using their connected Omron devices with the brand's apps to store their data, track them over time and share them with a physician. Increased usage of the Omron product and app ecosystem is said to have produced compelling testimonials about genuine behaviour change, increased physical activity and better weight management.
At CES, Omron previewed a digital health service that could noticeably increase the value of every Omron connected blood pressure monitor. The service is due to launch this summer. Called Omron Connect 2.0, the mobile app experience will act as a personal heart health coach that will provide users with expanded health insights, real-time coaching and incentives for behaviour change. Omron Connect 2.0 will represent a merger of the brand's two apps, HeartAdvisor and Omron Connect, and will be compatible with all Omron connected blood pressure monitors.
The service is designed to foster patient-doctor dialogue, advance heart health education, and provide personalised insights based on lifestyle and daily activities. Through a partnership with RxCap, Omron Connect 2.0 will pair with smart medication caps to monitor adherence and set reminders to take specific medications.
There will be an option for users to sync data with the Apple Health and Google Fit platforms to integrate reports on heart health, activity levels and sleep quality.
Feedback collected by Omron from consumers showed increased demand for deeper insights into their heart health. To meet this need, Omron Connect 2.0 will offer a premium option that will grant subscribers access to an expansive range of digital health services, including medical experts for more personalised coaching, heart health report cards that assess a range of data points, and rewards – such as retailer gift cards – for achieving successful behaviour change such as regular blood pressure monitoring and medication adherence.
"When a consumer pairs their Omron connected device with our apps, that user is tapping the full value of our heart health technology and gaining access to a product ecosystem designed to serve their specific needs and help them gain better understanding of their health and hypertensive condition with every use," said Kellogg. "Omron Connect 2.0 will evolve that access to an advanced level. This is a significant development on our path to help shape heart-healthy behaviour.”
Omron customers have shared personal stories about the behaviour change they have been able to achieve by regularly using the Omron product and app ecosystem.
A consumer who gave Omron permission to share his story had three strokes in early 2019. His doctor instructed him to start monitoring his blood pressure regularly and, after research, he purchased HeartGuide and began using the HeartAdvisor app. Shortly after he started using HeartGuide, it alerted him to a possible irregular heartbeat. He shared the HeartAdvisor data with his doctor who ran tests, confirmed the finding and adjusted his medication.
"Regular self-monitoring can reduce stroke risk significantly, by up to 20 per cent and can even cut the risk of coronary artery disease by up to 10 per cent," said FACP internal medicine physician and hospitalist, Ajay Madhani. “Omron monitors are medically accurate and, when a patient can share data with me and stay engaged with their treatment, we can study trends over time and adjust treatment. The monitors are easy for a patient to use, and the data provided strengthen patient-doctor dialogue.”
Since its US launch in January 2019, HeartGuide has transformed the heart health marketplace and set a standard for health wearables. HeartGuide is made in the form of a wristwatch and was created for those who want to keep close watch on their blood pressure anytime, anywhere. It uses oscillometric technology, which is the FDA-recognised standard for accurate, automated, medical-grade blood pressure measurement.
"HeartGuide and the consumer response represent a significant shift in the heart health market," said Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, health economist and author of HealthConsuming: From Health Consumers to Health Citizens. “It reshapes perception for blood pressure monitors and health wearables and shows demand for medically accurate data that can factor into treatment decisions. HeartGuide is leading the trend and consumers and medical professionals can benefit from this market evolution.”
HeartGuide recently launched in Japan, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain and is now available in sizes medium and large for $500.
Complete by Omron, a blood pressure monitor with ECG capability in a single device for home use, launched in May 2019. It targets the millions of individuals with atrial fibrillation (AFib) and to anyone with a family history of irregular heartbeat or concerns about developing the condition.
ECG is an essential heart health measurement. According to the CDC, six million Americans are living with AFib, with millions more who are undiagnosed, which puts them at a five-times greater risk of stroke. Omron developed Complete for use at home so more people can detect this condition, monitor it and share insights with their doctor to manage it.
Complete uses an algorithm by AliveCor, a specialist in FDA-cleared personal ECG technology, to improve detection of the possibility of AFib, bradycardia, tachycardia and sinus rhythm, along with medical-grade blood pressure measurement from Omron.
"Consumer response to Complete showed strong demand for a blood pressure monitor that could measure more while maintaining ease of use," said Kellogg. “We've heard several stories about how Complete identified possible irregular heartbeat, prompted a visit to a physician, and resulted in treatment plan changes. Irregular heartbeat is often missed. Having ECG at home and part of a blood pressure unit is helping more people discover, treat and manage this condition.
"With our Going for Zero mission, Omron measures our achievements by outcomes and lives saved. That keeps us focused and guides our investment in product development, innovation and heart health education."