Researchers Develop Revolutionary Blood Pressure Measurement Device
February 21, 2011 11:54 AM
CASPro blood pressure measurement device
(Source: University of Leicester)
Sensor device measures central aortic systolic pressure instead of blood pressure in the arm
Bryan Williams, study leader and professor of Medicine at the University of Leicester, and a team of researchers from Singapore-based medical device company
and the University of Leicester, have created a
that will change the way a person's blood pressure is measured forever.
Up until now, blood pressure has been measured in the arm using a cuff because this is a convenient and noninvasive method, but it is not always capable of accurately measuring pressure in the arteries close to the heart. Measuring the pressure in the larger arteries close to the heart, which is the central aortic systolic pressure (CASP), is important because high blood pressure in this area can cause
serious damage to the heart
But now, researchers have developed a device capable of measuring blood pressure in this area. This new device uses a sensor, which is placed on the wrist like a watch, to record the pulse wave. Then, researchers use computerized mathematical modeling of the pulse wave to read the CASP.
"I am under no illusion about the magnitude of the change this technique will bring about," said Williams. "It has been a fabulous scientific adventure to get to this point and it will change the way blood pressure has been monitored for more than a century. The beauty of all this is that it is difficult to argue against the proposition that the pressure near to your heart and brain is likely to be more relevant to your risk of stroke and heart disease than the pressure in your arm."
Patients who have had the
tested on them said they liked the comfort and ease of use of this new technology. But according to Williams, it will take some time before this method of measuring CASP will be available to the public.
"It is not going to replace what we do overnight, but it is a big advance," said Williams. "Further work will define whether such measurements are preferred for everybody or whether there is a more defined role in selective cases to better decide who needs treatment and who doesn't and whether the treatment is working optimally."
Researchers hope this new technology can eventually be used in hospitals to give doctors more accurate blood pressure readings.
"This study has resulted in a very significant translational impact worldwide as it will empower doctors and their patients to monitor their central aortic systolic pressure easily, even in their homes and modify the course of treatment for BP-related ailments," said Dr. Choon Meng Ting, Chairman and CEO of HealthSTATS. "Pharmaceutical companies can also use CASP devices for clinical trials and drug therapy. All these will ultimately bring about more cost savings for patients, reduce the incidences of stroke and heart attacks and
save more lives
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