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Free App May Help Lower Blood Pressure in Alabama Patients 

More than 3,000 people have downloaded an app on their phones to access health information, check blood pressure and even get dietary suggestions from the Mobile County Health Department in Alabama. 

“There’s an app for everything,” said Kelly Warren, Executive Director for Family Health at the department’s network of health centers. Patients like using the app, which is available in English and Spanish, because it gives them a sense of immediacy. “It’s available when and where they need it,” she said. 

The project began in early 2022 to deliver lifestyle change tools designed to help people lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Features include everything from a blood pressure calculator to overdose information. People can also sign up to learn about the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, a healthy eating plan popularized by the Mayo Clinic, and get a new recipe every week. 

Other features include a clinic location map, access to the patient portal and the ability to make appointments, which helps with call volume. 

Warren noted that one advantage of the system is that adding new features is inexpensive. “The big cost is behind us.” 

Melissa Creighton, a department grants manager who has been heavily involved in the app undertaking, said the organization uses social media posts as part of an overall communications strategy. Posts on Instagram, Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) let patients know when a new feature is available on the app. 

Easy access has drawn patients and even some non-patients to the app, Creighton said. “The biggest thing is: it’s free.”