Anyone who has ever had their blood pressure taken by a medical practitioner can attest to the fact that the technology (and, to be fair, the incompetence of some humans who use it) is far from perfect. The most common method of blood pressure measurement dates back to the 19th century, and while there have been some refinements and alternative techniques introduced over the years, not much has changed in the past 130 years . . . until now, if you believe Tarilian Laser Technologies (TLT). The company, located in Welwyn Garden City, UK, has developed a blood pressure monitoring technique based on an optical sensor that reportedly outperforms the current technology and will render it obsolete.
TLT’s first product will be a cuff-based consumer device that will be on the market in 2012. Much more interesting, however, is the next-generation Sapphire sensor system, which will enable direct measurement of blood pressure without a cuff in seconds. The company also touts the device’s ability to generate “continuous beat-to-beat blood pressure measurement and other haemodynamic data.” Moreover, the sensor can measure blood pressure on almost any part of the body without exerting pressure or transmitting energy into the body. This opens several avenues of application, including blood pressure measurement of the eye, and makes it possible to develop a host of products—think bracelets, mobile phones, apparel—with blood pressure sensing technology.
The company’s technology has received accolades from some heavyweights in the UK medtech establishment. Dr. David Jefferys, former director of the UK Medical Devices Agency and current president of regulatory affairs association Topra, has gone on the record to say that “TLT technology offers a significant competitive advantage to all others in the market. Furthermore, TLT’s Sapphire cuffless sensor promises to deliver a sophisticated and elegant solution to future demands within this sector.”
To see how the technology works, watch this video of the optoelectronic blood pressure monitor in action.Norbert Sparrow