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Mobile app to boost early detection, reduce heart diseases mortality


Scientists have invented a proof-of-concept blood pressure app that can give accurate readings using an iPhone with no additional equipment.According to the researchers at the Michigan Star University, the ubiquitous blood pressure monitoring may improve hypertension awareness and control rates, thereby helping to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and mortality.

The invention, which was featured in the current issue of Scientific Reports, was made by a team of scientists led by Ramakrishna Mukkamala, professor of MSU electrical and computer engineering.

Mukkamala said by leveraging on optical and force sensors already in smartphones for taking ‘selfies’ and employing ‘peek and pop,’ the team of researchers has invented a practical tool to keep tabs on blood pressure.

In a publication in Science Translational Medicine earlier this year, Mukkamala’s team had proposed the concept with the invention of a blood pressure app and hardware.The team produced a device that rivaled arm-cuff readings, the standard in most medical settings, with the combination of a smartphone and add-on optical and force sensors.

If things keep moving along at the current pace, an app could be available in late 2019, Mukkamala added.He stressed that: “Like our original device, the application still needs to be validated in a standard regulatory test. But because no additional hardware is needed, we believe that the app could reach society faster.”

He added that app could be a game-changer internationally, while high blood pressure is treatable with lifestyle changes and medication, noting that only around 20 percent of people with hypertension have their condition under control.

“This invention gives patients a convenient option and keeping a log of daily measurements would produce an accurate average,” Mukkamala added.Anand Chandrasekhar, Keerthana Natarajan, Mohammad Yavarimanesh – all electrical and computer engineering doctoral candidates – contributed to this research, which was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health.

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