Mar 9, 2018

3D Printed Smartphone Device Puts Blood Pressure Monitoring at Your Fingertips

Researchers from Michigan State University have developed 3D printed smartphone device that is able to monitor the user’s blood pressure. The device uses a sensor that calculates blood pressure at the touch of a fingertip. 

A team of researchers from Michigan State University have developed a 3D printed smartphone device that enables people to measure their blood pressure on the go. The device lets users monitor their blood pressure from anywhere, so long as they have a smartphone to connect it to.

Regular monitoring of blood pressure is critical for patients with hypertension or cardiac conditions. As such, the device particularly caters to 20 to 50-year-olds who are both tech-savvy and also health conscious.

Additionally, the monitor may offer major benefits to users in less developed countries or people that live in remote areas and can’t get to their doctor’s office easily.

“The idea is to try to make blood measurement so convenient that people will have the ability to readily make the measurement … and that way we might be able to reduce the incidence of strokes and heart attacks,” said the study’s co-author Ramakrishna Mukkamala.

The blood pressure measurement device is extremely easy to use. A user just presses his or her fingertip on the sensor and their blood pressure is calculated using an artery in their finger. Meanwhile, the user’s smartphone functions as a display to show finger pressure and blood pressure measurements.

3D Printed Smartphone Device Enables Remote Blood Pressure Monitoring

The device was developed by PhD student Anand Chandrasekhar and fellow colleagues from Michigan State University. The researchers used 3D printing technology to develop the prototype. In its final form, the case simply clips onto the back of a smartphone. The team also created an app to accompany the device, which provides instantaneous results.

Since blood pressure tends to fluctuate across the day, it is generally recommended that users take multiple measurements. This enables them to gain a more accurate assessment of their pressure.

Although the device has proven quite accurate, the research team cautions that it’s unlikely to offer the same quality readings as a proper arm measurement at a physician’s office. Additionally, the smartphone case will have to undergo more testing before its viability can be confirmed.

With around one-third of Americans showing signs of high blood pressure, the monitor offers a potential breakthrough for self-sufficiency in personal healthcare. With this 3D printed smartphone device, people may soon be able to keep track of their blood pressure with the same device they browse the internet or send text messages with.

The research team recently conducted a trial with 30 volunteers, and found that 90 percent were able to position their finger and get consistent blood pressure readings. The findings of their study were recently published in Science Translational Medicine.

Source: ABC & NBC News

License: The text of "3D Printed Smartphone Device Puts Blood Pressure Monitoring at Your Fingertips" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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