Smartphone sensor that can check your blood pressure

Smartphone sensor that can check your blood pressure

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Researchers from Michigan State University and University of Maryland has developed a smartphone sensor that can check your blood pressure. It’s been years for engineers trying for such device which can help users to monitor their blood pressure in the home. But this is the first time researchers succeeded.

The research paper published today in Science Translational Medicine authored by Anand Chandrasekhar, Chang-Sei Kim, Mohammed Naji, Keerthana Natarajan, Jin-Oh Hahn and Ramakrishna Mukkamala, in which the researchers described a prototype blood pressure sensor that can be integrated into a smartphone, and this requires only finger press from a user on the sensor.

The prototype, which is tested on 32 people, proved accurate. Groups such as the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) and the IEEE have accuracy standards by which cuffless blood pressure monitors are benchmarked, and the prototype delivered results in line with those standards. It also matched the results of a $25,000 finger cuff blood pressure monitor.

Many other groups are also working on developing cuffless blood pressure monitors that don’t require much equipment. One way of monitoring the cuffless Blood Pressure by pulse transmission. which require one sensor to be put nears heart and another at the wrist. This device measures the time it takes for a pressure wave to travel from the heart to the other location in the body.

The convenient device could encourage people to check their blood pressure more often, allowing them to catch hypertension—persistently high blood pressure—sooner, says Ramakrishna Mukkamala, a biomedical engineer at Michigan State, in East Lansing, who led the study.

Hypertension can lead to heart disease and stroke. But roughly half of people with the condition don’t know they have it, says Mukkamala.

The user can simply press their finger on the sensor available with their smartphone, the algorithm calculates the blood pressure and displays on the smartphone screen. The pressing of the fingertip generates external pressure on the underlying artery, much like that generated by a blood pressure cuff.

For now, this device is a prototype but once it is available in the market user can check their blood pressure anywhere and anytime. They don’t need to carry the blood pressure monitor everytime with them. Just a smartphone is enough.

Sources : IEEE Spectrum

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