Smartphone-based blood pressure monitoring on the finger
According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), almost every third adult in Germany suffers from hypertension. Many have no idea of their high blood pressure. This can be dangerous because untreated high blood pressure increases the risk of numerous other diseases. Health experts therefore recommend regular blood pressure measurements. With a new device, this could easily be done with the smartphone. But not everyone is convinced of this method.
Many people have long been unaware of their high blood pressure
Around 20 to 30 million Germans suffer from high blood pressure. Many have not known about their hypertension for a long time. This can have dangerous consequences, because untreated high blood pressure increases the risk of, among other things, heart attack, stroke, heart failure, coronary artery disease, kidney failure and even dementia. It is therefore clear that it is better to diagnose and treat hypertension early. Therefore, people of all ages should know their blood pressure values and take measurements regularly. This could become even easier in the future.
Conventional method for measuring blood pressure
"The treatment of high blood pressure can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases," says an introductory article in the journal "Science Translational Medicine", in which a new device for measuring blood pressure is presented.
In standard blood pressure monitors, an artery on the arm or wrist is compressed by an inflatable cuff.
When the air is released, the vibrations in the blood flow are then measured.
Use your index finger to apply pressure to a sensor on your smartphone
The blood pressure monitor, which was developed by a team led by Ramakrishna Mukkamala from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, works a little differently.
The user uses the tip of his index finger to apply pressure to an optical sensor that is attached to the back of the smartphone.
An app can be used to ensure that the user maintains sufficient finger contact while the brachial artery blood pressure is calculated from the finger-based measurements.
"The authors showed that the blood pressure values with their smartphone device, a standard arm cuff device and a finger cuff device were similar in a group of participants," says the journal "Science Translational Medicine".
And: "This smartphone-based device could help to better measure blood pressure."
Not really convincing
However, a contribution by the Deutsches Ärzteblatt points out that the accuracy left something to be desired.
According to this, the deviations in the precision (8.8 mmHg systolic and 7.7 mmHg diastolic) are probably too much from a medical point of view.
However, it is currently not possible to predict whether and when such a device will be launched on the market. (ad)