While preeclampsia is a common and dangerous complication in pregnancy, characterized by high blood pressure, it is currently only diagnosed by doctors within a clinical setting. We at Medgadget recently reported on a preeclampsia test, developed at Purdue University, that can be used at home, and now researchers have actually had pregnant women try to do it themselves.
The so-called supine pressor test was developed decades ago, but eventually it became uncommon because of variations in how different clinics and clinicians would perform it. Inconsistencies led to inaccurate results.
By using a smartphone, accelerometer, and a conventional blood pressure cuff, the Purdue team’s pressor testing system allows for consistent, reproducible evaluations of signs of preeclampsia. The woman performing the test on herself has to measure her diastolic blood pressure in different positions and record the difference between the readings. The app that the Purdue team developed helps to guide the user so that readings are accurate.
Studying 25 women, all of whom were at least 20 weeks pregnant, the researchers report that the majority found the new testing technique easy to follow, comfortable to perform, and feasible to perform at home. The study results were published in Journal of Engineering and Science in Medical Diagnostics and Therapy.
This is now leading the team to move forward with commercializing the technology, which will hopefully soon lead to women being able to do their own preeclampsia testing.