CHICAGO — Health screening kiosk maker higi SH LLC welcomed reduced standards for high blood pressure (BP) released this week by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC).
Under the new guidelines, people with systolic BP readings of 130 mmHg (top number) or diastolic readings of 80 mmHg (bottom) now are considered to have high blood pressure. Hypertension previously was defined as a BP reading of 140/90 mmHg.
Higi reported that for the year to date, based on redefined standards, 61.5% of screenings at higi health stations have BP results indicating hypertension, almost double the percentage under the earlier guidelines. The company said it operates North America’s largest self-screening health kiosk network.
“The new guidelines released by ACA and AHA are noteworthy and indicate the vital importance for individuals to know their key biometrics and what it means for their personal health,” stated Khan Siddiqui, chief medical officer and chief technology officer at higi. “Under the new guidelines, nearly two-thirds of higi health screenings are in the hypertensive range, a significant increase from 32% under the previous guidelines. “
Higi owns and operates 11,000 Food and Drug Administration-cleared and HIPAA-compliant health stations nationwide at food, chain drug, mass merchant and wholesale club retailers. Typically situated near the pharmacy department, the higi stations enable customers to conveniently measure their blood pressure, pulse, weight and body mass index (BMI). They also can track their health results over time and share it with others — including physicians and pharmacists — via higi’s online platform, which can aggregate data from dozens of digital health devices, activity trackers and apps to provide a more holistic view of their health.
To date, more than 43 million people have used a higi station to measure their blood pressure to conduct over 245 million biometric screenings, and over 6 million people have signed up for a higi account, according to the company. The kiosks also provide users with the higi Score, a proprietary measurement encompassing vital health statistics, lifestyle and social relationships that’s designed to give people one number to “quantify their life” and show how the choices they make impact their health.
“Uniquely positioned to access high risk populations for hypertension, higi will continue to work with our retail pharmacy and health system partners to motivate individuals to promote lifestyle modifications,” Siddiqui added.