Efficacy of a digital therapeutics system in the management of essential hypertension: the HERB-DH1 pivotal trial

European Heart Journal, Volume 42, Issue 40, 21 October 2021, Pages 4111–4122, https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehab559
Published: 29 August 2021

Digital therapeutics is a new approach to facilitate the non-pharmacological treatment of hypertension using software programmes such as smartphone applications and/or device algorithms. Based on promising findings from a small pilot trial, the HERB Digital Hypertension 1 (HERB-DH1) pivotal trial investigated the efficacy of digital therapeutics in patients with hypertension not receiving antihypertensive medication.

This prospective, open-label, randomized controlled study was performed at 12 sites in Japan. Patients with hypertension [office systolic blood pressure (SBP) 140 to <180 mmHg and 24 h SBP ≥130 mmHg] were randomly assigned 1:1 to the digital therapeutics group (HERB system + standard lifestyle modification) or control group (standard lifestyle modification alone). The primary efficacy endpoint was the mean change in 24 h ambulatory SBP from baseline to 12 weeks; key secondary efficacy endpoints were mean changes in office and home blood pressure (BP) from baseline to 12 weeks. All analyses were conducted in the full analysis set population. Between December 2019 and June 2020, 390 patients were randomly assigned to the digital therapeutics group (n = 199) or control (n = 191) group. Between-group differences in 24-h ambulatory, home, and office SBPs at 12 weeks were −2.4 (95% confidence interval −4.5 to −0.3), −4.3 (−6.7 to −1.9), and −3.6 (−6.2 to −1.0) mmHg, respectively. No major programme-related safety events occurred up to 24 weeks.

The HERB-DH1 pivotal study showed the superiority of digital therapeutics compared with standard lifestyle modification alone to reduce 24-h ambulatory, home, and office BPs in the absence of antihypertensive medications.

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