Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Solar-powered device affordable, reliable tool to measure blood pressure

From a November 8, 2010 American Heart Association news release

DALLAS, Nov. 8, 2010 — A new solar-powered device to measure blood pressure may help slow the worldwide increase in cardiovascular disease by providing affordable and reliable blood pressure testing in low income countries, according to research published in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association.***


The solar powered device — 94 percent in agreement with the standard blood pressure testing method for systolic blood pressure — is in field testing in Uganda and Zambia, Africa.


“The incidence of hypertension is rising dramatically in these countries,” said Eoin O’Brien, M.D., lead author of the study and professor in Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research at the University College Dublin in Belfield, Dublin, Ireland. “Hypertension leads to stroke and heart attack as the major cause of death around the world. It is greater than malnutrition, cancer and AIDS.”


Many low-income countries have a short supply of trained medical personnel, he said. “We have been able to provide an accurate, robust and inexpensive device to diagnose high blood pressure. It’s a start. If we can’t measure blood pressure, we certainly can’t begin to treat hypertension.”


Study Highlights:***


  • A new solar powered, automated blood pressure monitoring device was equally accurate as the standard device that measures systolic blood pressure.
  • The device was favored by health professionals and patients when tested in Africa.
  • The new device eliminates the need for batteries, which are expensive and scarce in low economic settings.


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    November 11, 2010 - Posted by | Health News Items | , ,

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