A new blood pressure measurement device developed by scientists at the University of Leicester and in Singapore has the potential to enable doctors to treat their patients more effectively because it gives a more accurate reading than the current method. It does this by measuring the pressure close to the heart, which is known as the central aortic systolic pressure (CASP).
Blood pressure is now measured in the arm for the sake of convenience. This method, however, may not always accurately reflect what the pressure is in the larger arteries close to the heart.
The technology uses a sensor on the wrist to record the pulse wave and makes use of computerised mathematical modelling of the pulse wave to accurately read the pressure close to the heart. Patients who have tested the device reported that it is more comfortable to use than conventional blood-pressure units, as the new device can be worn like a watch.
Measuring the blood pressure in the aorta has a number of advantages. One of the most important of them is that it is closer to the heart and brain, where high blood pressure can cause damage. In addition, the blood pressure readings from the aorta can be quite different from that traditionally measured in the arm.
More information on the blood-pressure measurement research is available from the University of Leicester.Brian Buntz