Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a low-cost clip that uses a smartphone’s camera and flash to monitor blood pressure at the fingertip. The clip, which costs about 80 cents to make, could be manufactured for as low as 10 cents each at scale. The technology aims to provide easy, affordable, and accessible blood pressure monitoring, particularly in resource-poor communities.
The clip does not require calibration to a cuff, distinguishing it from other blood pressure monitors. A custom smartphone app guides the user on how to measure blood pressure by pressing on the clip. The app extracts information from the resulting red circle image to calculate systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings. Testing on volunteers showed comparable results to a traditional blood pressure cuff. The researchers plan to refine and commercialize the technology, making it more user-friendly and testing its accuracy across different skin tones.