22 February 2011

New Device Will Assist Blood Pressure Monitoring

This is a device long over due and may indeed be the device of the future that is so desperately needed. In all the times I have had my blood pressure taken, I have seldom had it done correctly. Most of the time before it is supposed to be taken, you are to be at rest for five minutes. Most nurses and others are in a hurry and take it as soon as you are seated.

The only time this would be correct is if they are measuring blood pressure increase and decrease in a stress test or another medical procedure. That is why this device may become so important. Researchers at the University of Leicester and in Singapore have developed a device that measures pressure in the largest artery in the body and it is proving to be more accurate that the arm cuff.

The device works by a sensor in the watch recording the pulse wave of the artery, which is then fed into a computer together with a traditional blood pressure reading from a cuff. Physicians will then be able to read the pressure close to the heart, from the aorta. The researchers rightly believe that unless the measurement is from the aorta, doctors are not getting an appreciation of the risks or benefits of a treatment.

The device is expected to be used in specialist centers soon and then widely within fife years. The issue that has me wondering is when will this device become available for use in the U.S., at what level, and for what type(s) of patients.

The University of Leicester collaborated with the Singapore-based medical device company HealthSTATS International. The study will result in a very significant worldwide impact, empowering doctors and their patients to monitor central aortic systolic pressure, even in their homes. This will allow for changing the course of treatment.

Read the article here.

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