In last month’s article “What’s blood pressure go to to do with it?” we spoke about the importance of maintaining good blood pressure control and the potential consequences of persistently high readings.
Standard blood pressure monitoring devices involve a cuff around the upper arm, which is either inflated manually by a doctor using a sphygmomanometer or by a machine. Many patients dislike the sensation this creates in the arm, or indeed find that the very act of taking their blood pressure can make them anxious, potentially driving up the readings. Others find it time-consuming and cumbersome to get the monitor out, set it up and then make a note of the readings.
A new device called the Aktiia is worn around the wrist; it is about the size of a FitBit and is slimmer than a smart watch, and records blood pressure semi-continuously, gathering readings a couple of times an hour. Crucially it does not inflate or require input from the wearer to take a reading, and simply records in the background. It also takes readings during the night, and this is useful information to gather, since lower night-time readings are prognostically important. The device links to an app on a smartphone, allowing readings to be downloaded and reviewed, and discussed with a doctor as necessary.
Please note that the image above is a representative stock image – to view the Aktiia itself and find out more information, please click here