Today, Raleigh-based Valencell announced a new calibration-free, cuff-less blood pressure technology for wearables that can be used in devices worn on the finger and wrist.
This latest technology improvement significantly expands the number of device form factors to embed the technology from fitness bands to Smartwatches.
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Details on Valencell’s cuffless blood pressure technology
The company is known to make some of the most advanced PPG sensors for wearables and hearables.
The blood pressure technology works using PPG-only in the ear or at the finger – no ECG, no pulse transit time, or other methodology. The process uses just one sensor.
Unlike the blood pressure monitoring system in Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, Valencell’s technology does not require any calibration.
The only inputs required for the PPG-based blood pressure monitoring are your height, weight, age, and gender.
Wearable tech companies are racing to get native blood pressure readings on their products.
Most smartwatches or fitness trackers offering any blood pressure monitoring outputs today use the pulse transit time methodology, which is prone to errors and requires calibration.
This is likely one of the main reasons leading wearable players such as Apple has not yet introduced a smartwatch-based blood pressure monitoring system.
Most of Apple’s patents dealing with BP monitoring feature some cuffless approach to wrist-based blood pressure monitoring.
Valencell has a troubled history with Apple.
In 2016, the company had sued Apple.
The company’s lawsuit claimed that Apple initially sought to partner with Valencell and then used its technology without licensing it.
Valencell is also Suunto’s partner for biometric solutions.
The Suunto smartwatch series 9 is supposed to have the Valencell biometric technology for heart rate monitoring and other cardio assessment metrics.
Valencell’s biometric solutions are used with Onecare’s Carewatch.
The watch connects to the AT&T cellular network and provides a comprehensive solution for monitoring health, safety, and protection offering an effective remote monitoring platform.
The company also makes biometric kits that can measure blood pressure as well as other biometrics via earbuds.
You can read about the company’s survey on blood pressure monitoring here.
We are yet to see any new Blood pressure monitoring system announcement in a leading consumer-grade smartwatch of a fitness tracker.
But this announcement clearly suggests that we will soon see new smartwatches and trackers with new and improved blood pressure monitoring capabilities.