Medicine: Blood pressure measurement with your fingers on your own smartphone?

Simple blood pressure measurement by finger pressure on smartphone

Hypertension is sometimes referred to as a "silent killer" because patients have not noticed it for a long time and often do not notice it until it has caused organ damage. Health experts therefore advise that you measure your blood pressure regularly. This could become even easier in the future. At the touch of a finger on the smartphone. However, not everyone is convinced of the new method.

Many don't know about their high blood pressure

According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), almost every third adult in Germany suffers from hypertension. Many have not known about their high blood pressure 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. So it is clear that it is better to diagnose and treat hypertension early. Health experts therefore recommend regular blood pressure measurements. 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.

Apply finger pressure to a sensor on the 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)

Author and source information

Video: Reading Blood Pressure (January 2022).