Those of us who have had our blood pressure checked on some occasion know that it involves going to a clinic or a pharmacy and having an inflatable cuff applied to your arm. If the Michigan State University succeeds in developing its technology, it might no longer be necessary and the process will become as simple as placing your finger on the smartphone case.
The system is in the prototype phase as of now and consists of a 1-cm thick case that’s attached to the back of a standard smartphone. It comes with an app that runs on the phone. The case also has a sensor unit which has a force sensor and an optical sensor stacked on top of it.
The device functions when you hold it at heart level and press the tip of the index finger against the sensor unit. The screen guides the user on maintaining the right amount of pressure and the case uses Bluetooth to communicate with the phone.
The sensors do their job to measure the person’s systolic and diastolic blood pressure using the transverse palmer arch artery in the fingertip. It takes roughly the same amount of time as it takes to do a conventional arm cuff reading. All the figures are logged in the app and you can check them out anytime.
The blood pressure readings are not quite as accurate as those obtained from using the arm cuff but they are as good as those obtained from a finger cuff. The app can also boost its accuracy by calculating the average blood pressure on multiple successive readings.
The scientists are continuously working on improving the accuracy of the system. They are also working on streamlining the technology. They have the belief that the electronics could be only one millimetre thick and can be used in regular smartphone cases.
It will definitely be a huge help once the technology is streamlined and the accuracy is improved.