Beam me up! New wearable tech uses light technology to check your blood pressure

Written by: Professor Melvin Lobo
Published:
Edited by: Jay Staniland

A new wearable tech device that monitors your blood pressure on the go, could be available soon. The TLT Sapphire device uses a beam of light to monitor changes in the blood vessels that occur due to changes in blood pressure and eliminates the risk of white coat hypertension.

 

How does it work?

 

The TLT Sapphire device uses light technology to measure tiny changes in the blood vessels, which are caused by changes in blood pressure. The device records changes instantaneously, and to a high degree of accuracy.


The device can be worn like a watch or can be placed anywhere on the body to quickly and easily record the blood pressure.

 

What are the benefits of this device?

 

The TLT Sapphire device eliminates ‘white coat hypertension’ which is the effect of having an unusually high blood pressure reading when taken in a medical setting (due to being nervous about the blood pressure results). Using the device means that you can wear it at home to get a natural reading.


Compared with standard cuff monitors, the results are more natural and accurate. A standard cuff monitor measures vibrations caused by the movement of the blood, and only records at the moment the cuff is worn. The TLT Sapphire can be worn for longer periods.


The device is smaller than a postage stamp, and the thickness of a credit card, so has potential to be incorporated into a mobile phone or clothing, or worn like a watch, without the need for a cuff.


The device can be used to accurately detect cases of hypertension and hypotension, along with other blood pressure disorders.

 

When could the device be available?

 

Leading cardiologist and blood pressure specialist, Professor Melvin Lobo is leading trials on the device, with results due in early 2018. If the trials prove the device is highly accurate then the technology could become commercially available within the next year

By Professor Melvin Lobo
Internal medicine

Professor Melvin Lobo is a pioneering cardiovascular physician and clinical hypertension specialist, based in London. He is renowned for his work as a specialist in all forms of blood pressure disorders, and has been involved in a number of key clinical studies of device-based therapies for these conditions. He is an internationally recognised specialist in hypotension (low blood pressure) and highly variable BP disorders and circulatory conditions including PoTS and fainting disorders. His group has been involved in novel treatments (some first in man) to help patients with these diagnoses. To assist with the diagnosis and management of complex circulatory conditions, he set up the Barts Autonomic Laboratory in 2012 staffed with experts in neurophysiology and haemodynamics.

Professor Lobo is director of the renowned Bart's Blood Pressure Clinic in London, which has been recognised as a Hypertension Centre of Excellence by the European Society of Hypertension. The centre has become the premier UK centre for trials of device-based therapy of hypertension. He is a specialist advisor to NICE on interventional therapy of hypertension, and has authored UK and European guidance on renal denervation. Alongside his clinical work, Dr Lobo is also an NHS Reader in Cardiovascular Medicine Bart's and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, and has contributed to a number of peer-reviewed articles for medical journals.

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