How Does a Smart Watch Measure Blood Pressure?

Hypertension is a major public health concern in the United States, affecting more than 75 million Americans. Unfortunately, more than half of those individuals are unaware that they have hypertension, and another half have their blood pressure under poor control. In this blog post, we will discuss a new advance in the area of wearable technologies which can be utilized to measure blood pressure.

Measuring blood pressure has been traditionally done using a blood pressure cuff, which only provides intermittent and snapshot determinations. Additionally, environmental factors such as weather, temperature, humidity, dust, and pollution can play into blood pressure readings. The reality is that blood pressure is a continuous process, and you really need to understand the dynamics of that. However, it is not practical to go to the doctor all the time.

A collaborative effort between the University of Arizona and Northwestern has resulted in a new technology for measuring blood pressure continuously, accurately, inexpensively, and innocuously using what is called wearable electronics. The lab at the University of Arizona has been instrumental in bringing forward motion analysis systems that are now FDA-approved.

This technology involves a prototype wearable that is like a postage stamp and uses stretchable electronics to measure pulse wave velocity and the appropriate math calculations to give you continuous blood pressure. The system used in the laboratory emulates or models a patient’s circulation. The University of Arizona has been leaders in the development of circulatory assist devices, particularly the total artificial heart. The electronic has been applied to the aorta and the outflow tract of the heart, allowing the continuous monitoring of blood pressure signals.

This new technology is a significant advance in the area of wearable technologies. It will provide an almost continuous stream of data, leading to better blood pressure management, and will allow for early warnings if something is out of whack. This will be a whole new area of information and science that will emerge.

In conclusion, this new innovation in wearable technologies has the potential to revolutionize how we manage hypertension and other blood pressure-related conditions. It will enable individuals to have better control over their blood pressure and provide healthcare professionals with valuable data that will allow for early intervention if necessary.