New Smartphone App for Precise Monitoring of Blood Pressure

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Researchers have developed novel smartphone app and hardware to monitor blood pressure more accurately than other cuff and wearable devices

New study conducted by Michigan State University in the U.S. developed convenient measurement device by targeting specific arteries and veins in body. According to the study, the approach operates by utilizing two sensors such as an optical sensor on top of a force sensor. Both of the systems i.e. sensor unit and other circuitry are integrated in a one centimeter-thick case attached to the back of the phone. The study was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine on March 11, 2018.

For using this technology, an individual has to turn on the app and press fingertip against the sensor unit. While holding finger on the unit, users have to hold phone at heart level and observe smartphone screen to ensure they are applying the correct amount of finger pressure. Using this technology users can track daily measurements and maintain healthy lifestyle. “We targeted a different artery, the transverse palmer arch artery at the fingertip, to give us better control of the measurement,” said Anand Chandrasekhar, lead author of the study at MSU. “We were excited when we validated this location. Being able to use your fingertip makes our approach much easier and more accessible,” said Chandrasekhar.

Although high blood pressure is treatable with lifestyle changes and medication, around 20% of patients suffering from hypertension have uncontrolled condition. “A key point was to see if users could properly apply the finger pressure over time, which lasts as long as an arm-cuff measurement,” said Ramakrishna Mukkamala, professor at MSU. “We were pleased to see that 90 per cent of the people trying it were able to do it easily after just one or two practice tries,” said Mukkamala. The research team is working on improving accuracy of the device with more comprehensive testing based on the standard protocol of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation.

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