The Uniformed Fire Officers Association of New York City, or UFOA, recently partnered with digital health firm Qardio and Mount Sinai Health in a program to help firefighters monitor their blood pressure levels without having to take time off from their jobs. The partnership follows a nine-month hypertension pilot involving select firefighters who were monitored by Mount Sinai Health System’ s researchers using the QardioArm mHealth device, a Bluetooth-enabled blood pressure cuff. In this second phase of the partnership, the device and the Qardio app will allow 1,000 UFOA firefighters and retirees on a first-come, first-served basis to check their blood pressure remotely and send reports to their primary care physicians.
Hypertension is a major problem for all Americans, but it is a particular health risk for firefighters, who experience significant stress and trauma on a regular basis: both factors are known to contribute to high blood pressure. This new partnership should make it significantly easier for firefighters to catch and treat blood pressure issues quickly, before heart attacks and stroke occur. Because the devices report blood pressure changes to their physicians automatically, firefighters don’t have to take time off of work, which is difficult given the nature of their jobs. If doctors see evidence of hypertension or a related health issue, they can contact the firefighter in question and provide them with treatment. The UFOA’s goal is to enroll the majority of its more than 7,000 members in the program.
Dr. David Ores, the founder of Hypertension Prevention for First Responders, explains why this program is so promising: “Wireless blood pressure cuffs are an excellent way to allow a world-class cardiology center to monitor UFOA members’ cardiac health in real time.” In a city where firefighters have to respond to 600,000 incidents a year, it’s incredibly important to make sure these brave civil servants can respond effectively to stress and keep themselves healthy.
As a law firm dedicated to firefighters, police officers and other first responders, Barasch & McGarry understands the effects of stress and trauma on blood pressure and all other aspects of their health. We support all efforts to help these men and women who keep us safe to keep track of their vital signs and remain healthy for the long haul. Call us today at 844.874.1564 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.