Blood pressure (hypertension) flowing through arteries and blood vessels can harm organs if it remains too high for too long. It can lead to heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease. The added danger is that doesn’t cause warning symptoms, so you won’t even know if you have it. So, how to solve this problem?
Currently, a blood pressure test is the only way to detect hypertension. The usual method is with a blood pressure cuff on the arm. Another method is with a small device called a tonometer pressed against the skin over a blood vessel.
For patients who are critically ill, health care providers can obtain even more accurate blood pressure hypertension readings by inserting a special tube inside an artery near the heart. This method is called cardiac catheterization.
But, is there any way to measure your blood pressure outside of a medical care facility? The good news is, now there is.
Blood Pressure: New Skin Patch Meter Is Here
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, developed a thin, wearable blood pressure sensor using ultrasound transducers. Transducers make high frequency sound waves that bounce off the blood vessels. It then receives the echo patterns and sends them to a computer to create a representation of the vessel’s changing diameter, called a waveform. When calibrated to a patient’s blood pressure, these waveforms can be used to monitor changes.
These transducers are enveloped into a patch and worn on the skin.
A layer of silicone beneath the patch eliminates the need for sticky gel such as used with conventional ultrasound probes.
Insofar as accuracy is concerned, the patch results were compared to a pen-like tonometer for measuring pressure on the neck, wrist, arm, and foot of a healthy 22-year-old man. The patch provided better precision and accuracy.
Blood Pressure: Significance Of The Patch
Wearable devices have so far been limited to sensing signals either on the surface of the skin or just right beneath it. But this is like seeing just the tip of the iceberg,
By putting ultrasound technology into wearables, it’s possible to capture a whole lot of other signals, biological events, and all sorts of activities way below the surface in a non-invasive manner.
And, that makes for a healthier you!