Through new innovations OMRON is transforming the global heart health technology marketplace. It's on a path to shape heart-healthy behaviors among consumers.
Going for Zero
By Elena Borrelli
OMRON Healthcare, Inc. is on a mission of Going for Zero---the elimination of heart attacks and strokes. It isn’t just a mission, it’s real.
OMRON is putting money where its mission is. Nearly 13 million Americans have hypertension and don’t know they are living with this risk. Heart disease is indeed an epidemic and regular monitoring can play a significant role in reversing the threat. Numerous studies show that regular self-monitoring reduces stroke risk by up to 20 percent and can even cut the risk of coronary artery disease by up to 10 percent.
The company is harnessing cutting-edge technology with meaningful behavior change altering healthcare as we know it. That’s why OMRON has been introducing new heart health technologies, revolutionizing blood pressure monitors and wellness devices, and committing its resources to move the needle in heart health. "By moving the needle, I’m not just talking about sales. I’m talking about lives saved. Behavior change and consumer education are essential to making progress on our mission," says Ranndy Kellogg, President & CEO, the man driving this mission, who himself is a great proponent of a healthy heart.
Monitoring more often translates into better stress management, more medication adherence and stronger dialogue with a doctor.
OMRON invented its first blood pressure monitors more than 40 years ago. Throughout the four decades of its existence, OMRON has been the leader of personal heart health and wellness medical devices. The common thread across all its line of products is the accuracy, ease of use and reliability. To do this on a consistent basis, product after product, demonstrates that it is passionate about empowering people to take charge of their health at home through precise technology. OMRON prides its success by the outcomes its products produce. What matters to Ranndy is how OMRON products are empowering people to take charge of their health at home through precise technology. And that's the key to work towards its mission - Going for Zero.
Going for Zero is the driving force behind all of new product innovations at OMRON. “OMRON has constantly been investing in the development of innovative new heart health technology that can be easily accessed, adopted and regularly used at home,” explains Kellogg. Last year, the company launched two devices that are transforming the heart health category—HeartGuide™ and Complete™.
HeartGuide is a medically accurate oscillometric blood pressure monitor in the compact form of a wristwatch. HeartGuide, which is cleared by the FDA as a medical device, was launched in early 2019 and was greeted by overwhelming demand. It's one of ORMON’s ground-breaking inventions, so much so that it made it to TIME's Best Inventions 2019 List. Integrating a blood pressure monitor into a sleek watch that also measures sleep and activity, Kellogg says, makes staying on top of cardiovascular health easy and provides a fuller picture of overall wellness.
HeartGuide pairs with a proprietary mobile app, HeartAdvisor™, an insights-driven digital service designed to act as a digital health coach to help users adopt healthier habits and take meaningful action on their numbers. Together with the HeartAdvisor app, HeartGuide becomes a vital heart health tool for those who are in the hypertension danger zone and for early adopters who want access to heart health insights any time.
Innovation for Heart Health
Omron is investing in the development of innovative new heart health technology that can be easily accessed, adopted and regularly used at home.
A More Complete Picture of One's Heart Health
To enable patients and healthcare providers to further understand individual heart conditions, in May 2019, OMRON launched Complete, the first consumer blood pressure monitoring device with built-in EKG analysis. This device is a ground-breaking innovation for patients with atrial fibrillation or those having a family history of other arrhythmias.
Users of Complete can simply download the free ORMON Connect app; where EKG data can be stored, tracked and shared. The monitor can store up to 90 readings, however readings can be transferred via the app for unlimited storage on OMRON’s HIPPA compliant cloud. Data is secure and all regulatory requirements are followed. Patients that share their data from Complete with their physician or other healthcare providers; benefit by providing a more complete picture of their cardiac health. This data can be used by the healthcare providers to determine if any additional testing is required as well as to what the next best step in management would be.
"Consumer response to Complete shows strong demand for a blood pressure monitor that could measure more while maintaining ease-of-use. We've heard several stories about how Complete identified possible irregular heartbeat, prompted a visit to a physician, and resulted in treatment plan changes," says Kellogg. "Irregular heartbeat is often missed," he continues. "Having EKG at home and part of a blood pressure unit is helping more people discover, treat, and manage this condition."
Complete's dual-lead EKG component was developed in partnership with AliveCor. It uses an advanced algorithm to see potential AFib, bradycardia, tachycardia and sinus rhythm in the EKG tracing. AliveCor has used machine learning and neural networks to make the algorithms highly accurate. "Our work with AliveCor on Complete has played a pivotal role for physicians to see more data points that contribute to stroke risk. By measuring more data points, we can help users get a more complete picture of their heart health so they can build better treatment plans with their physician," explains Kellogg.
Trusting patient-provider relationship
One hundred three million American adults are hypertensive; and Omron offers a blood pressure monitor for every one of them. Yet, 13 million Americans have hypertension and don’t know they are living with the risk.
As much as OMRON focuses on releasing innovative products to the market, Kellogg emphasizes that it’s equally important to see how the products enable behavior change amongst consumers.
Understanding your blood pressure requires more than just tracking your numbers. Data by itself is meaningless unless the users, in consultation with their doctors, make meaningful behavior changes for their heart health. Patients take a more active role in managing their condition and develop proactive doctor-patient conversations.
Instead of just "checking" blood pressure or EKG, the vitals must be “monitored” says Kellogg. “Monitoring more often translates into better stress management, more medication adherence and stronger dialogue with a doctor.” ORMON products such as Complete are designed for patient-provider communication and building a trusting relationship. Involving patients in their heart-health monitoring, empowers them to take ongoing control of their health and accountability for health lifestyle choices. This could also increase patient compliance with medications and other treatments. It is behaviorial changes like these that Kellogg wants his products to have an impact on.
To further this cause, OMRON invests deeply in new digital health services that provide real-time heart-health coaching. "We’re already hearing stories from our customers about the changes they’ve been able to make in their lives by using these tools, and their impact on their heart health. Our apps, HeartAdvisor and OMRON Connect allow users to store, track and share their readings with their physician so they can better understand their condition," iterates Kellogg, who ensures OMRON’s suite of digital health offerings is designed to encourage regular monitoring and to teach heart-health behaviors that can save lives.
For someone who has dedicated the majority of his career to heart health, Kellogg continues to steer the company making investments into digital health tools that can help users better understand their condition and provide real-time health coaching to drive behavior change. "We want to continue to give consumers and medical professionals the tools to make real strides in treatment programs. Medical devices should be judged on the health outcomes they produce, not just what their features allow them to do. We judge our success on the health outcomes we help consumers and medical professionals achieve. It’s how we’re Going for Zero," asserts Kellogg.