Texas researchers have created a tattoo which can measure blood pressure more accurately than smartwatches.
The researchers at University of Texas at Austin Texas A&M University An electronic tattoo can be worn comfortably on your wrist for several hours, while simultaneously providing continuous and accurate measurements of blood pressure.
“Blood pressure is the most important vital sign you can measure, but the methods to do it outside of the clinic passively without a cuff, are very limited,” Deji Akinwande, a professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at UT Austin and one of the co-leaders of the project, said in a press release.
This project has been documented a new paper Nature Nanotechnology published a recent article.
High blood pressure, if left untreated can cause serious cardiovascular problems. Continuous measurements are more accurate than traditional blood pressure tests, which only take a few seconds.
“Taking infrequent blood pressure measurements has many limitations, and it does not provide insight into exactly how our body is functioning,” Roozbeh Jafari, a professor of biomedical engineering, computer science and electrical engineering at Texas A&M and co-leader of the project, said in the press release.
In recent years, smartwatches have been one of the most popular options for continuous blood pressure monitoring. The Texas researchers discovered that smartwatches were not up to the job.
According to the press release, “The watches slip around on your wrist and may be far from the arteries, making accurate readings difficult.” People with dark skin and/or large wrists may experience problems when light-based measurements are used.
Graphene is the key ingredient to e-tattoo. It’s described as being one of strongest and thinnest known materials. Although it is similar to pencil graphite, the structure of the atoms in e-tattoo is very precise.
The e-tattoos are made of sticky and stretchy materials that contain the sensors. They can be worn comfortably for long periods of time without moving around.
Bioimpedance is a method of measuring blood pressure. This involves injecting an electric current through the skin. To analyze and obtain blood pressure readings, researchers used machine-learning models.
This research was funded by grants from the Office of Naval Research (NSF), the National Institutes of Health, and the National Institutes of Health.
Scott Mace contributes to HealthLeaders.
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