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The Cuff Project

Making self-monitored blood pressure accessible for all pregnant and postpartum moms

Last Updated on August 19, 2020

The Need

As many as one in twelve pregnancies is affected by hypertension in its most dangerous form – preeclampsia. In some regions of the country 15-20% of pregnancies are affected. The current COVID-19 crisis has affected prenatal and postpartum obstetrics care. Regulations have been optimized for telehealth, and many in-person visits for prenatal and postpartum visits have been eliminated. This means that blood pressure screening, recommended throughout pregnancy[i], proteinuria assessments, and a review of signs and symptoms are hampered or missing for thousands of women each day. Racial disparities have been exacerbated during the COVID pandemic. This telehealth-friendly environment provides an excellent opportunity to improve patient-provider communications and maternal healthcare practices now and for the long-term. But only if women are given the tools and technology they need to actively participate in their healthcare.

Enter the Cuff Kit™

As a first step to address the need for self-monitored blood pressure, the Preeclampsia Foundation started providing the Cuff Kit™ in June 2020 to women at highest risk of developing preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy – especially to our most vulnerable populations. The kit includes a validated automatic BP device, educational tools around signs and symptoms, postpartum risk, “How to take your own blood pressure” information sheet and video, BP log tracker, and additional evidence-based information online.

Check out one woman's story of how The Cuff Project helped her detect her own preeclampisa as featured on CNN Health.

Interested in providing the Cuff Kit™ to your patients?

Participating providers must be able to:

  1. Quickly and readily communicate with participating patients, utilizing telehealth as needed;
  2. Prioritize distribution to highest risk, especially vulnerable women with lower ability to procure their own BP cuff (i.e., Individual risk factors include chronic hypertension, history of preeclampsia, obesity, age (35+), autoimmune disorders; as well as population-level risk factors such as black, Native American, or rural women);
  3. Commit to provide quarterly feedback to help us assess the impact of this initiative. Please see our questions here, so you can implement systems to collect this data.

Purchase Cuff Kits Inquire About Funding

 

The Cuff Project: Our Strategic Plan

The ability for all women to access healthcare during and after pregnancy has been further challenged by COVID-19, but the application of home monitoring and telehealth as an important option has garnered considerable attention. Although the Cuff Kit is an important and urgent first step, accelerated by the COVID pandemic, our view of this solution extends beyond this emergency response. There is immediate need to fund projects related to this entire scope of work:

  1. Purchase and provide additional Cuff Kits, coupled with telehealth options, to support high-risk, low resource women across the US.
  2. Collect data, analyze and publish results of self-monitored and remote blood pressure measurement programs in pregnancy and the postpartum period. Outcome measurements should include maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity, healthcare costs, impact on racial disparities.[ii]
  3. Technical evaluation and validation of current home-monitoring devices/services for use in pregnancy, with secondary validation for preeclamptic pregnancies.[iii]
  4. Assess policies and drive regulatory and clinical changes, as needed, to add self-monitored and remote blood pressure measurements to obstetrics standards of care.
  5. Advocacy efforts with public and private insurers to universally reimburse for home-monitored blood pressure measurement for all pregnant and postpartum women.

 

[i] JAMA. 2017;317(16):1661-1667. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.3439

[ii] Oral presentation at the 39th Annual Pregnancy Meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Las Vegas, NV, Feb 11-16, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2019.05.011

[iii] Bello N. Hypertension. 2018;71:326-335. DOI: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.117.10295

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