The technology used to measure blood pressure has changed little over the years. One can either have an inter-arterial catheter inserted to measure the pressure directly, or for the vast majority of us, have our limbs squeezed with a sphygmomanometer or electronic blood pressure cuff. Some companies have also been investigating with even less invasive means of measurement relying on pulse transit time.
This week at CES, Omron, which has been a trusted brand in consumer blood pressure cuffs for years, announced that they’ve modernized blood pressure measurement with the Project Zero monitor. Project Zero takes blood pressure measurement in a different direction by minimizing the ubiquitous inflatable cuff and fitting it into a wrist-worn wearable.
We asked Omron Health’s Chief Operating Officer Ranndy Kellogg why the company decided to stick with the inflatable cuff method. He explained that it’s a clinically validated technology, which, he claims, means users can be confident that they’ll always be getting accurate readings, and the company will (hopefully) have an easier time getting clearance from the FDA.
Such a form factor is also significant as it allows for all-day and overnight use for near continuous monitoring. Of course, as a wearable health device, Project Zero also does step counting, sleep tracking, and syncing to an iOS or Android device to track trends or send data to a physician. But when Project Zero hits the market later this year, it’ll be FDA approved and will hopefully be accurate enough for use for clinical use in addition to its consumer applications..