[The following is an exact transcript of this podcast.]
It's April 15th. Like many people around the country, you might be feeling your blood pressure rise as you deal with everyone's favorite activity—filing taxes. Now there's good news if you want to know how bad your heart is suffering from the stress: M.I.T. researchers have built an easily wearable blood pressure sensor. It works around the clock to provide an accurate 24-hour read of blood pressure.
Some people have so-called white coat hypertension—their blood pressure spikes in the doctor's office. Also, there are natural changes in blood pressure over a day's cycle, and a one-time reading won't catch that.
The device doesn't use a cuff, like the kind that cuts off the circulation in your arm at the doctor’s office. It sits over the wrist and index finger and measures the pulse at two locations, checking the velocity of the blood flow. The information gathered could assist doctors in figuring out the best medication, or even in telling a patient when during the day to take that medicine—or a deep breath. The device should be available to the public in a few years. In the meantime, many happy returns.