Device to revolutionise blood pressure measurement

Monday, February 21, 2011

LONDON - A new device is set to revolutionise the way a patient’s blood pressure (BP) is measured.

Developed by scientists at the University of Leicester and HealthSTATS - a medical device company in Singapore - it gives a more accurate reading than the current method used.

The device monitors the pressure close to the heart, the central aortic systolic pressure or CASP, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology reports, quoting a Leicester University statement.

Bryan Williams, professor of medicine at Leicester University, said: “It is not going to replace what we do overnight but it is a big advance.”

BP is currently measured in the arm because it is convenient. However, this may not always accurately reflect what the pressure is in the larger arteries close to the heart.

The new technology uses a sensor on the wrist to record the pulse wave and then, using computerised modelling of the pulse wave, scientists are able to accurately read the pressure close to the heart.

Being able to measure BP in the aorta, which is closer to the heart and brain, is important because this is where high BP can cause damage.

Besides, the pressure in the aorta can be quite different from that traditionally measured in the arm.

This will be especially important for younger people in whom the pressure measured in the arm can sometimes be quite exaggerated compared to the pressure in the aorta.

Filed under: Blood Pressure, Medicine, World

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