A top-rated new smartphone app has been released that could transform the treatment of hypertension – the world’s biggest killer¹ – by enabling people to use data to discover the cause of their high blood pressure so they can then take targeted action
The BP Owl app was developed by data analyst Cameron Elliott from Manchester, who devised an analytical method to work out the cause of his own condition, after his doctor warned that he was at risk of a heart attack but was unable to provide him with tailored advice.
Having cured his own condition and brought his blood pressure into the normal range, Cameron developed the app to provide people with a super simple way to identify what aspects of their lifestyle are causing their blood pressure to spike, so they can focus their efforts on addressing those factors.
Since launching in March, BP Owl has already had more than 25,000 downloads of its BP Owl and BP Healthy apps via word-of-mouth. While the BP Owl app is a diagnostic app that uses data analysis to uncover what is causing an individual’s high blood pressure, BP Healthy helps users lower their numbers through small changes to diet, exercise, sleep, relaxation and other lifestyle factors.
High blood pressure causes an estimated 10.4m deaths per year globally¹ and is responsible for at least half of all heart attacks and strokes². Yet with so many potential lifestyle causes, it can be increasingly difficult for time-stretched health professionals³ to get to the bottom of the root cause for individual patients.
BP Owl founder, Cameron, who now maintains an average blood pressure of just under 120/80mmHg, commented: “High blood pressure is often referred to as the ‘silent killer’ because there are no symptoms, which can make a diagnosis both scary and quite hard to accept.
“In my case, the doctor advised me to reduce my salt intake, perhaps because that advice had worked on other patients in the past. However, everyone’s condition is different and I knew that this wouldn’t make any difference to me as I already ate a low salt diet – which made me feel even more powerless against my condition.
“As a data analyst I knew that if I was able to capture enough data I would be able to find the cause and, in my case, the analysis clearly showed that stress and poor sleep were behind it. The great thing about identifying the cause of your high blood pressure is that it enables you to take targeted action to address it. That’s what I did after uncovering the root cause and, because of that, I’ve been able to bring my hypertension under control. I’m really excited to now be helping other people to manage their condition in the same way.”
Dr Lutz Kraushaar, from Bielefeld University in Germany, who has a doctorate in Health Science and has been working with BP Owl, commented: “BP Owl is a big step towards personalized preventive medicine, something which doctors don’t currently have the capacity to provide.
“It’s fantastic to see a new breed of personalised tech solutions coming through to help us bridge that gap between clinical medical trials and the individual patient. BP Owl is a wonderful example of this in the ecosystem of blood pressure and hypertension.”
Giovanna Fritz from Lemington, Warwickshire, commented: “I love the BP Owl app. My doctor said I needed to lose some weight, exercise more, reduce my salt, consume less fat in my diet – in other words do everything! It left me really confused. I used the BP owl app and after 20 days it showed me how much higher my numbers are on my poor sleep days compared to days with good sleep. I now go to bed at 10.30pm each night, don’t have my phone in my bedroom and listen to a relaxing CD. I sleep so much better now and my BP has dropped from 140 / 82 mmHg to 122 / 82 mmHg.”
You can download the BP Owl app for the iPhone from the App Store here and an Android app is currently in development. The BP Healthy app is available here for people wanting to learn what small daily changes will lower their BP and then monitor the results.
You can find out more about BP Owl via the website here.