How Noora Health and partners use WhatsApp reminders to support hypertension follow-up visits
In India, more than 82% of adults with diagnosed hypertension do not have controlled blood pressure. Regular visits are important for maintaining medicine consistency and ensuring that blood pressure remains controlled over time. However, recent studies find that more than 50% of individuals with hypertension miss these essential visits.
In May 2022, we launched a randomized control trial study to explore potential solutions to missed appointments. The aim of the study is to determine whether low-cost reminders through mobile phone calls and messages via our WhatsApp line, Blood Pressure Care Companion, can meaningfully reduce missed visits among individuals with diagnosed hypertension in Punjab, India.
Reminders are a commonly used tool for addressing missed visits but their effectiveness has been mixed across studies. A main contribution of the study will be to connect our WhatsApp messages and mobile phone calls with information targeting common misconceptions about hypertension care that may contribute to missed visits beyond low-salience/forgetfulness (the commonly justified use for reminders) to try and maximize the effect of the message.
This study is a partnership between Noora Health and the Behavioral Science for Disease Prevention and Health Care research group at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). Noora Health provides key local context inputs into the study protocol and intervention design, as well as leads the study implementation and data collection in Punjab. This study will run from May to September 2022 across two districts in Punjab.