Checking your blood pressure usually means visiting your doctor, or if you want to do it at home, take out the blood pressure machine, strap it to your arm and try to make sense out of the complicated readings. This could soon be changing.
A Swiss startup called aktiia has just launched with the goal of marketing a continuous blood pressure monitoring bracelet.
The new startup is a spinout of CSEM, a Swiss research and development center and exhibitor at the WT | Wearable Technologies Show MEDICA 2018, where the technology was first perfected. But, since CSEM does not commercialize products, they created this new startup.
Blood pressure is the force exerted by blood against the blood vessel walls. This pressure depends on how the heart is performing and the resistance of the blood vessels.
Hypertension or high blood pressure is when the blood pressure is higher than 130 over 80 millimeters of mercury (mmHg). High blood pressure affects 1.13 billion people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Approximately 85 million in the U.S. have hypertension.
Discussing the new technology, Josep Sola, the chief technology officer at aktiia said this device is aimed at helping prevent an uptake in high blood pressure and to help monitor the condition.
According to the company, the technology utilizes a combination of optical sensors and clinically validated software algorithms to measure a person’s blood pressure. The technology incorporates both hardware and software and has 3 components: the monitoring bracelet, the app that appears on a user’s phone, and a cloud-based server that will give physicians access to a patient’s data.
Sola said that for years, the researchers at CSEM have been measuring blood pressure in new ways but with the growth of smartwatch industry they saw new opportunities.
“When we realized that there were all these smartwatches coming into the market,” Sola told MobiHealthNews. “We have the know how to measure blood pressure from optical signals everywhere in the body. Let’s try our best to [create a wearables] for the wrist. That is when we started really developing these technologies.”
Because of the continuous monitoring users can see their blood pressure any time of the day.
“We know that night monitoring of blood pressure is the most critical for hypertension and seeing damages from hypertension,” Sola said.
The company now plans to get the product CE-certified and FDA cleared within the coming months and to get it ready for the consumers by 2019.