A bracelet that measures blood pressure

Swiss company Aktiia has obtained CE IIA certification for its wearable device that continuously measures blood pressure.

Hypertension is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease and premature death worldwide. On average, people with the condition only measure their blood pressure once a week due to the inconvenience and discomfort associated with a traditional cuff.

Aktiia has brought to market the first clinically validated wristband that can accurately, automatically and painlessly measure blood pressure by analysing signals from the wearer’s wrist.

The underlying technology was initially developed at the Swiss Centre for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) and then refined by the company, which was founded in 2018. The research and development took a total of 15 years and over a million measurements. The device has been verified in five clinical trials.

Aktiia’s optical blood pressure monitoring (OBPM) algorithms take advantage of optical sensors worn on the wrist and provide blood pressure values using photoplethysmography (PPG) to analyse the change in artery diameter that occurs with each heartbeat. This optical measurement is done automatically, so users are not aware and stressed, and do not have to interrupt their day or their sleep to take a measurement.

The bracelet, which weighs only 20 grams, must initially be calibrated using a cuff that comes with it. This operation must be repeated once a month. The bracelet then measures the blood pressure every hour and sends the data via Bluetooth to the mobile app which is available on iOS and Android. The autonomy of the bracelet is approximately nine days.

The wristband is currently on sale in the UK only at a promotional price of £159.99 (instead of £199.99). Pre-order customers will also receive free ongoing access to the Aktiia 24/7 blood pressure monitoring service, which is normally offered at a subscription cost of £8.99/month after the first year.

The product will soon be marketed in other countries, thanks to its CE certification.

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