Perhaps blood pressure measurement will soon become a reality at lightning speed. Scientists have developed a special phone add-on that will make it much easier.
Data presented by the National Health Fund show that as many as 10 million Poles have hypertension. If left untreated, it may lead to, among others, ischemic heart disease, strokes, heart failure or kidney failure. Most sick people are aged 55-74. The causes of hypertension may be obesity, high salt intake, stress or genetic factors. Regularly measuring blood pressure at home is a very important element in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Scientists have developed a device that makes it much simpler and faster than the traditional method.
The phone add-on will allow you to measure your blood pressure
The phone add-on in the form of a special overlay was developed by engineers from San Diego. Just place your finger on it and a special application will measure the pressure force and blood flow volume. The device will then convert this information into a reading of your systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Work is currently underway to introduce the product to the market. The big advantage of the device is that it does not require calibration, which is necessary in the case of other pressure measurement systems for smartphones and smartwatches (you need to measure the pressure several times using the traditional method). This special cover for the phone consists only of mechanical parts – it does not have any electronic element, so the cost of its production is relatively low, which may translate into a low price in the future. The project’s creators estimate that in larger-scale production it may be about 10 cents. This solution would therefore be an available option for almost everyone. It is also a very convenient and quick way to measure blood pressure, which would translate into more frequent blood pressure measurements and greater care for your health.
How does the pressure measuring pad work?
How does the special cap measure blood pressure? The algorithm measures the force of pressure and the volume of blood that flows in and out of the finger for each heartbeat, and translates this data into a blood pressure measurement. “The clip is connected to the smartphone’s camera, so the phone ‘sees’ the fingertip through a hole in the clip. The harder we press, the closer the hole gets to the camera, so it gets bigger in the camera preview. We can press on the cap because there is a spring inside it. When the user presses the clip, the smartphone’s flash illuminates the fingertip, and some of that light is reflected back to the camera. So a red circle is visible in the camera preview. The greater the pressure, the greater it becomes. By looking at the size of the resulting circle, the application can estimate the pressure exerted on the fingertip,” explained Yainan Xuan, a PhD student from the Department of Electronics and Computer Engineering at the University of California in San Diego, co-creator of the project. Currently, scientists are working on increasing the accuracy of measurements, making the technology more user-friendly and, consequently, increasing the product’s compatibility with various phone models.
Why is it so important to measure your blood pressure regularly?
Untreated hypertension can lead to cardiovascular diseases and, consequently, stroke and heart attack. Half of sick people are unaware that they suffer from too high blood pressure. That is why regular measurement of blood pressure is so important – it allows you to detect irregularities and implement treatment in a timely manner. It should be remembered that hypertension may not cause symptoms for many years, so measuring blood pressure is the simplest way to detect possible abnormalities. Be sure to check what the new blood pressure standards are.