FROM SWITZERLAND: GREAT IMPROVEMENT IN BLOOD PRESSURE MONITORING
You’ve used a home blood pressure cuff, right? They still sell them at CVS I think. The cheap ones have a little squeeze ball to pump up the cuff. The expensive ones – well I don’t know this for a fact since I never had one – I think they self inflate. The display shows those two numbers that you soon learn to hate – diastolic and systolic blood pressure. Are you confused yet?
You’re supposed to relax while the cuff crushes your muscle. That’s what the instruction say.
Sometimes this works and the readings more-or-less make sense. Sometimes you get crazy stuff. Also, your pressure fluctuates throughout the day. Since, at best, you’re only going to use it a few times in a day, you probably won’t get a great representative reading of the dynamics of daily blood pressure. Better than nothing I guess.
Anyway, the reason I’m bothering you about all this is that Michael Tschudin and his associates over at STBL Medical Research AG just came up with something better. They have a comfortable wrist “bracelet” that can be worn for long periods, It records the blood pressure and heart rate continuously- the holy grail of blood pressure monitoring – without sticking a needle in your veins. Their system is so noninvasive it is almost casual. Simple , continuous, convenient, and noninvasive? Tschudin, Luscher, and friends are cool dudes. Scientifically speaking.
WHAT THE NUMBERS MEAN
I’m going to explain what the numbers mean. Not that you haven’t heard it before, right? Let’s go through it again.
Your heart ‘s a double pump. Two sides. One for the lungs, the other for the rest of the body. Each time the heart pumps,the pressure in your arteries rises and falls. There’s a maximum pressure and a minimum pressure for each stroke. Max, min, max, min. Over and over. This goes on until the day the kids inherit the house and start staying nicer (er) things about you. That maximum pressure is called the systolic pressure. The other one, the minimum pressure, is the diastolic pressure.
The device hasn’t been approved but it sounds like it’s got a great shot. The price is fine for a hospital purchasing department – cheap, actually. But too expensive for CVS shelves. In time? Sure. You’ll probably have on in your drawer.
ScienceAintSoBadRating = 10 on this one. A brilliant solution to an important problem.– – – – – – – – – – – – – – photo credits. That first one is from a Halloween display on our front lawn. The second one is from the developers of the product.