Measuring blood pressure is crucial to help manage a range of medical conditions.
Now a number of different wearables promise to do just that from things like a smartwatch on your wrist.
But what if you could measure blood pressure from a device you already own, such as your smartphone.
I’m joined now by Elliot Jones from bias spectral who has an app that promises to do just that.
Elliot, thanks for joining me today.
Now tell me all about this app and how it works.
Sure, I nice to meet you.
Thank you for having me on.
So what we’ve developed at bio spectral is a software application that runs in a common smartphone and allows you to simply put your fingertips on the lens of the camera of the phone.
And we use the, the, the objects on the phone to measure your blood flow beneath the skin.
And from that recording, we actually have algorithms that can transform that into.
The pulse and then measure your blood pressure from the calculations in that algorithm.
So why hasn’t anyone been able to do this before now?
Well, it’s hard to do.
That’s the first answer to that.
It’s a very difficult problem.
We’ve been working with a group at a Research Institute in Switzerland.
Who has been working on this technology for, I think 13 years now, and we’ve been working with them my co-founder who is a doctor in Switzerland, has been working with him for the last seven years in the operating room.
On this very algorithm so it’s a non-trivial problem to solve.
And we’ve gotten there.
So what can we do me to process in how a user actually gets started with the app.
Is there a calibration process with a traditional cuff?
How does it all work?
That’s a good question.
When you first installed the application, we lead you through a setup process where you have a traditional cuff.
You take a few measurements with your cuff at the same time you measure the phone and then it calibrates fun for you.
And then you’re off and running.
Put the cuff in the drawer.
You don’t need to even use it again.>> So the idea is once you’ve used it once you potentially never have to recalibrate?
In fact, a traditional cuff tends to need to be recalibrated from time to time because it’s a hardware device.
Because we’re in a different world where software it’s it’s a different measurement process, so you never really have something that’s mechanical that gets out of tune.
The only reason you might ever need to recalibrate is that the the medical condition of the patient or the medication or something like that might change, but not our app.
So why is the finger the best place to take this measurement from?
It’s a good question.
So there’s a very simple answer, which is that it’s very convenient to have your hands in front of you, the phone in one hand, just simply put your fingertip on the lens of the camera.
It’s a very easy thing to do with your finger.
We can measure anywhere on the body because we look through the skin but we do it just out of convenience.
And so what’s the margin of error involved here?
Are we going to get a lot of false positives or too high blood pressure too low when that’s not the case?
One of the things I will say is that but biospec that we’ve put a huge premium and predicated the company on being a clinically valid solution.
And as such, we’ve done a ton of research according to ISO, the ISO norms and FDA protocols in every study that we’ve done.
In the tuning of our algorithm, and then the validation of that in terms of accuracy, so we are compliant with all the standard tolerances for accuracy that apply to the blood pressure cuff.
So we’re we’re within that range and then the more data, we get The better we get even from there.
So who do you think is the ideal person that is going to be using the uptbp app?
Is it going to be someone that actually does need to monitor their blood pressure in consultation with their doctor or is it someone that just generally wants to have a better idea of what their blood pressure is?
perhaps maybe they want to make some lifestyle changes.
Sure at the center of our universe, or what we call the on the go hypertensives.
So what we’re specifically not focusing on are people in the hospital, who have all kinds of ways to measure blood pressure there?
But the people who are on the move, who want to manage or measure manage blood pressure, it’s for people who are diagnosed generally with hypertension, but then they’re also people in populations.
That are what we call emerging hypertensive.
So in pregnancy or as everybody ages, you become more hypertensive.
So but primarily as people already under treatment for hypertension.
At the moment, the app is an Android based app and it’s in beta.
Can you tell me a bit more about where it’s going to be available, the price and also a win and if iOS users will be able to get their hands on it too.
Sure, well, let me just say from the, from the start that we love everybody, and we very intend to, of course, we’re on Android platform now.
We’re doing a lot of work in the global health setting with and other global health groups.
Mostly that’s Android, but we are very interested in all platforms.
And we are as you mentioned in beta process right now, we’re in the process of establishing pricing.
All I can say is that the pricing will be very attractive compared to a normal solution with a blood pressure cuff.
And is it going to be a subscription, for example?
Or is it gonna be a once off payment for the app?
Yeah, we envision both, actually.
So that we have what’s great when you have software that’s connected, is that you can provide ongoing and increasing levels and different varieties of services on top of the basic function of blood pressure.
So, for us, we talk about two words, one’s accessibility, being able to get the app anywhere in the world in a minute, and then having it in your pocket.
But then that’s not enough, having the data be actionable and meaningful and treatment.
Is almost more important than that.
And so for us sending that data downstream where it’s where it can be handled by the doctors is super important.
Well, Elliot thank you so much.
We’re looking forward to a whole new world of being able to measure my blood pressure up in the car At the movies whenever that happens again.
And elsewhere out in the world.
So thank you so much for joining us.