One of the key health indicators is blood pressure. It used to be that you had to go to a doctor’s office or clinic to get it measured, but now you can choose from a host of home blood pressure devices, some of which are even “connected” so that they can store and share your results through a smartphone app or other service. The problem remains that many people find it difficult or awkward to use a pressure cuff on their arm, or even one of the newer wrist designs. A Swiss company, Leman Micro Devices (LMD), thinks that they have the answer: a light sensor built into a smart phone.
We’ve written about projects to use light to measure blood pressure before, but this is the first product we’ve seen that is designed to be incorporated into a smartphone. A sensor is built into the top edge of the phone, and a gaming app gives the user feedback so that they press their finger against the sensor with the right amount of pressure to get a reliable reading. The process takes less than a minute, and the sensor never needs calibration after it leaves the factory. In addition to blood pressure, the system measures heart rate, respiration rate, blood oxygen levels, and body temperature, according to the company’s website. The data is stored locally, but can also be shared with healthcare professionals through a secure data transfer process.
According to the company’s press release, it is pursuing CE and FDA clearance and hopes to receive both later in 2017. This device could prove to be a low-cost solution that will make it easier for more people to keep track of their blood pressure with greater accuracy and convenience.