Issue #1 April 2020
Welcome to VITALITY.
It’s an important part of our mission—to promote better health through personalized and more precise vital signs monitoring. You’re receiving this newsletter either because you’re a customer, partner, or you’ve otherwise subscribed or opted in at one of our events, conferences, or website.
THE BFD: COVID-19 and Heart Disease.
COVID-19 underscores the importance of staying healthy as a routine matter of habit—not just adopting better health habits when we’re all suddenly under the threat of a global pandemic. This includes consistent, proactive management of basic health and wellness markers like blood pressure.
Individuals with a serious condition such as high blood pressure face increased risk for severe complications if they are infected with the virus. And with nearly half of Americans suffering from high blood pressure (BP), better BP management now and in the future should be a public health priority.
Elderly people with coronary heart disease or high blood pressure may be more susceptible to coronavirus and likely to develop more severe symptoms. Data from the outbreak in Wuhan, China showed a 10.5% death rate among people with COVID-19 who also had cardiovascular disease (CVD) and 6% for individuals with high blood pressure. Newer data from New York State—the epicenter for COVID-19 in our nation—showed 86% of deaths were among victims with underlying chronic illnesses. The most common illness was hypertension, which was a factor in 55% of the deaths in New York.
In other words, along with other factors, if you have a pre-existing condition, you are more likely to die from the virus.
So what’s the priority here?
First, we need more remote monitoring solutions that precisely identify risk. Too many patients are presenting with unrelated symptoms and clogging up the system. Apple has launched its COVID-19 app. It’s a start but we know that more precise monitoring of vital signs is needed—and easier access to testing if you are at high risk. Remote monitoring of hypertension and cardiovascular disease is the foundation of our development efforts and partnerships to integrate our central blood pressure technology into the next generation of smart devices and wearables.
Second, while we are in this current crisis, we must reduce the burden on the public health system and promote science over fake news. For instance, there are stories on the Internet claiming that anti-hypertensive medications increase the risk of COVID-19. Let me be very clear. There is no credible evidence to support this assertion. ATCOR has deep technical expertise in this area—and we fully endorse the March 17th joint statement from the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, and the Heart Failure Society of America urging continued medication adherence for COVID-19 patients with cardiovascular disease. You can read more about this in our “Spotlight On” feature article below.
Managing Cardiovascular Disease After COVID-19.
We should start preparing now for the post-coronavirus world—hoping for the best but planning for the worst. ATCOR technology is the gold standard for central aortic blood pressure assessment—and we look forward supporting two vitally important public health efforts:
i. Clinical forensics and data compilation—Helping the research community understand the true effects of cardiovascular complications on COVID-19 patients, healthcare workers, and even healthcare system; and
ii. Survivor surveillance—Equipping clinicians and healthcare workers to monitor COVID-19 survivors, helping to detect and mitigate any cardiovascular symptoms caused or exacerbated by the coronavirus.
Ultimately, we need technology to arm us with the tools to live stronger and healthier lives every day. In the absence of a vaccine—and even when we eventually have a vaccine—having a strong collective immune system and healthy populace will be our best defense.
In view of the often confusing and conflicting conversations surrounding the use of hypertensive medication during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’d like to address those concerns… Read more.
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