Researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) have developed a smartphone app and add-on device which allows users to measure blood pressure through their fingertip. 

Searching for an accurate alternative to pressure measuring cuff devices, the researchers targeted the transverse palmer arch artery. “We were excited when we validated this location. Being able to use your fingertip makes our approach much easier and more accessible,” said Anand Chandrasekhar, MSU doctoral student and lead author of the research. 

The hardware includes two sensors which are housed in a 1 centimeter-thick case that attaches to a smartphone. Once the app is turned on, users press their fingertip against the sensor while holding the phone at heart level;  the app informs the user if the pressure being applied is adequate and displays the blood pressure reading on the screen. In an internal study 90% of users were able to gather blood pressure readings after 2 practice tries. 

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The researchers are hoping the device could be a ‘game-changer’ for individuals with hypertension, however they acknowledge that more testing is needed to improve accuracy  One of the improvements they have earmarked is to make the sensor even smaller so it can be utilized in a standard smartphone protective case.  

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