Valencell, the Photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor maker has introduced a new sensor that can measure blood pressure with a simple touch. This state-of-the-art ultra-miniaturized PPG sensor module is small enough to fit within an audio earbud, smartwatch, hearing aid, or other wearable devices. The PPG sensor module includes an optical emitter, an optical detector, specialized optomechanics, and an accelerometer. It collects the blood flow data and inertial data and combines it with the subject’s physical characteristics (age, weight, gender, and height) of the wearer to determine blood pressure readings.
Before Valencell started developing the sensor, it conducted a survey and found out that 62% of Americans with hypertension measure blood pressure a few times a month or less instead of the twice-daily recommendation. But more than 75% of the respondents would measure it much or much more often if they could do it passively in the background with smart devices. Addressing the issue, the new PPG sensor requires no work from the user, other than just wearing a smartwatch, smart band, or some other gadget that can equip the PPG sensor above. The sensor on coming in contact with the skin (ear, finger, or wrist) of the wearer can automatically register blood pressure readings.
According to the company, its tech is “the first commercially available embedded sensor solution to enable BP readings throughout the day with the same accuracy as current BP cuff devices without the need for a cumbersome cuff.”
The company is pursuing FDA clearance for technology. As of now, there is no clear picture on when and what sort of gadgets will be the first to incorporate the new Valcencell blood pressure sensor.