Blood pressure sensors have been incorporated into smartphone technology
Researchers from Michigan State University and the University of Maryland has incorporated a blood pressure sensor app within smartphone technology.
In a bid to make healthcare increasingly bespoke, companies are looking to incorporate healthcare solutions in everyday technologies. The development of new healthcare apps has therefore seen exponential growth significant growth, rising from $6.7bn in 2012, with a predicted increase of $58.8bn by 2020.
In a recent paper, Science Translational Medicine, researchers have explained how the sensor only requires the use of a fingertip which is pressed against it, which will provide systolic and diastolic blood pressure results, rivalling that of traditional cuff devices.
The technology will also give greater control to consumers in their daily health management and enable users to check their blood pressure more often and reduce the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
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The sensor will have the ability to measure changes in blood volume through the use of photoplethysmography (PPG), where a force transducer will apply pressure, IEEE Spectrum reports.
Tested on over 30 candidates, over 90% were able to figure out the connect technique to use the technology after less than three attempts, making it an easy and accessible solution going forward, Biomedical Engineer Ramakrishna Mukkamala reported in the study.
“Screening for hypertension may be the main clinical application of the device, especially in the 20- to 50-year-old segment of the population who are often technology savvy and health conscious but may be at risk for early development of hypertension,” explained Michigan State University.
It will also support the healthcare industry in developing countries, where the use of mobile tools is common, yet expensive medical equipment remains a complex process to acquire, in addition to accessing a medical professional.
On the rise: Doktor.se
1. Doktor.se launches as a digital healthcare platform in Sweden in 2016. The company's focus is on the B2B market, with a mission to help members find, book and get access to healthcare services through telehealth and telephone calls.
2. The company offers healthcare services through its app as well as at bricks and mortar clinics. After raising more than €40 million in a funding round in May 2020 to expand its operations both nationally and overseas, CEO and founder Martin Lindman says there are plans to enter new markets at the beginning of 2021.
3. Belgium becomes the fifth market where Doktor.se provides telemedicine, through Belgium's communications company Proximus Group. It becomes the second most downloaded doctor app in Europe, and over 1.2 million patient consultations are carried out, either through the app or at physical clinics in Sweden. Throughout 2020 it administers over 250,000 COVID-19 antibody tests in Sweden.
4. Doktor.se is the most popular digital healthcare in Sweden, used by approximately one-tenth of the country's population. New funds are raised to offer improved services for mental health and chronic illnesses, and to expand digital services and acquire physical services to integrate into its digital platforms with the aim of creating a hybrid model.
5. The company announces €29.5 million in funding from Chinese technology multinational Tencent Holdings. Doktor.se say the funds will be used to make its global healthcare services more efficient, accessible and affordable.
The platform now employs nurses, doctors and specialist doctors, psychologists, and physiotherapists, and is available across Europe and in Brazil.
6. Over 1.5 million people are currently using healthcare apps developed by Doktor.se, either run by the company or through its SaaS licensing business. There are around 900 people employed by the company, and Doktor.se say that the productivity of medical staff using the platform is up to four times greater than those working in traditional services.