Revolutionary Blood Pressure Watch Device Is More Accurate
New groundbreaking technology has been incorporated into a wrist watch device which will give health care providers the ability to more accurately diagnose and treat high blood pressure.
Created by researchers at the University of Leicester, the device features a wrist watch which can measure with precision the pressure close to the heart – called central aortic systolic pressure (CASP).
CASP is a more useful measurement than traditional blood pressure readings because instead of measuring the vessels in the arm, it measures the pressure in the vessel which feed the heart and brain. Elevated blood pressure in this area is what causes damage leading to heart attack and stroke.
Up until now, arm measurements have been used because they can be done quickly, easily, and inexpensively. However, the reality is that this type of measurement doesn’t always reflect what is actually going on inside the major vessels close to the heart, such as the aorta. In fact, blood pressure in the aorta is often less than what is read in an arm measurement. This misrepresentation could actually lead to over-diagnosing and over-medicating of patients.
The fact that CASP measurements are more accurate and useful is not new news to doctors and medical professionals. The problem has been that previously the only way to obtain a CASP measurement was through an invasive surgical procedure which threads a catheter directly into the aorta. This is not useful for every day clinical practice.
The lead researcher Professor Bryan Williams said, “I am under no illusion about the magnitude of the change this technique will bring about. 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 of 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.”
The device, manufactured by a Singapore-based medical device company called HealthSTATS, is known as the CASPal. It still has the traditional arm cuff, but also has a wrist watch to captures pulse waves. These pulse waves are then automatically calculated with the arm cuff reading to detect with 99 percent accuracy the patient's CASP.
“This [device] will empower doctors and their patient to monitor their central aortic systolic pressures easily, even in their homes and modify the course of treatment for BP-related ailments,” said the Chairman and CEO of HealthSTATS, Dr. Choon Meng Ting.
There is no doubt that an improved blood pressure monitoring system has been long awaited. Elevated blood pressure, or hypertension, affects more than 79 million people. An additional 59 million people at the threshold of becoming hypertensive. This disease, otherwise known is the “silent killer”, often doesn't cause any symptoms until damage to organs has already been done. Uncontrolled blood pressure causes more than a third of all heart attacks and is the leading cause of stroke, kidney failure, blindness and dementia.
The only way to detect hypertension is to have a blood pressure measurement taken. Most cases are preventable and treatable by diet modifications, weight loss and exercise. However, some may need medication.
The CASPal is now ready and available for use in both clinical and home settings.