The Valencell device provides the same data as a conventional cuffed blood pressure monitor.
Valencell, best known for making optical heart rate monitors for fitness equipment, has unveiled a new device at CES 2023, a finger clip monitor that can measure blood pressure.
Instead of the usual inflating of a sleeve on the upper arm, blood pressure can be controlled using a finger clip. Now this method is commonly used to measure the pulse, both at home and in medical institutions.
The device does not yet have a name and is awaiting approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
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As Valencell explains, the monitor uses PPG sensors to measure circulation patterns, then the information is passed through an algorithm that performs calculations over a dataset containing 7,000 patient records. The data is then compared with the user’s age, weight, gender, and height to measure blood pressure. Systolic and diastolic pressure numbers will be displayed on the screen of the device and in the accompanying mobile application.
While Valencell claims their work is unique, there is at least one system that uses PPG and algorithms instead of a cuff. In early 2022, the University of Missouri demonstrated its own clamp using a pair of PPG sensors on both sides of the finger. This system, as the creators themselves admitted, gave less accurate diastolic readings.
Valencell seems to have resolved these issues through additional data. The company says it has a new weapon in the fight against hypertension and hopes to make it available for use in clinical settings to remotely monitor patients or treat chronic conditions.
But that will have to wait for the FDA to scrutinize the hardware, which could take most of the year. If management still “blesses” the Valencell device, it will be sold for $99.