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  1. Wearables/health tech is the industry where a consumer has really been able to feel the progress over the recent years. Getting some of those opportunities to such a low cost segment is revolutionizing. This news made me so happy!
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Ultra-low-cost blood-pressure monitor clips on a smartphone

May. 29, 2023.
1 min. read Interactions

A 10-cent BP monitor — no cuff required

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Amara Angelica

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Amara Angelica is Senior Editor of Mindplex

Prototype of blood pressure monitoring clip. The user presses on the clip and a custom smartphone app guides the user on how hard and long to press during the measurement (credit: Digital Health Lab / UC San Diego)

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a simple, low-cost clip that uses a smartphone’s camera and flash to instantly monitor blood pressure at the user’s fingertip.

The clip works with a custom smartphone app and could cost only 10 cents apiece when manufactured at scale.

“Because of their low cost, these clips could be handed out to anyone who needs them but cannot go to a clinic regularly,” said study senior author Edward Wang, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at UC San Diego and director of the Digital Health Lab. “A blood pressure monitoring clip could be given to you at your checkup, much like how you get a pack of floss and toothbrush at your dental visit.”

The research was published today in Nature Scientific Reports.

When the user presses on the clip, the smartphone’s flash lights up the fingertip. That light is then projected through a pinhole-sized channel to the camera as an image of a red circle. The smartphone app extracts the circle, measures the amount that the user’s fingertip applies, and its algorithm converts this data into systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings (credit: Digital Health Lab / UC San Diego)

Citation: Xuan, Y., Barry, C., De Souza, J., Wen, J. H., Antipa, N., Moore, A. A., & Wang, E. J. (2023). Ultra-low-cost mechanical smartphone attachment for no-calibration blood pressure measurement. Nature Scientific Reports, 13(1), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-34431-1 (open access)

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