Research lauds solar-powered blood pressure device

10 Nov 2010

Third-world countries, with rapidly rising rates of cardiovascular disease (CVD), could benefit from a device that harnesses solar power to measure blood pressure.

The devices have been heralded by research published in medical journal Hypertension as an affordable way to help reduce rapidly rising rates of CVD in low-income nations.

According to the research, team lead author Dr Eoin O’Brien, a professor at the Conway Institute of Bimolecular and Biomedical research in UCD, by using solar energy to power these kinds of devices it cuts out the need for rechargeable batteries that can prove costly in remote areas where electricity and availability are scarce.

Tests in medical centres in Africa showed that the $32 (around €23) devices are “94pc in agreement” with the standard blood-pressure testing method for systolic blood pressure – a top blood pressure reading that represents the maximum pressure when the heart contracts.