Digital Health is changing and is now an integral part of our life for measuring our vitals and ultimately improve our health. Wearables and smartwatches offer the possibility to measure blood pressure in a precise and discrete fashion.
The main issue being that these measurements are also instantaneous and not continuous. The Swiss Startup Aktiaa is poised to change and add a touch of style to blood pressure monitoring.
How Does Atkiia work?
In the form factor of a bracelet, this device works using photoplethysmographic (PPE). The same technology is found in most smartwatches. Only the Omron HeartGuide relies on an inflatable cuff. Optical blood pressure monitoring will analyze the blood flow within your arteries and extract the blood pressure value using dedicated algorithms.
You may wonder if shining a green light is really reliable when trying to measure blood pressure. It is. PPE has been around for numerous years and can be seen as a byproduct of pulse oximeters.
Recently, Pr. Oded Schlesinger and his team from the very famous Technion in Israel showed that PPE was reliable both at home or at the hospital for measuring blood pressure….as long as the algorithms were robust and clinically validated.
The device is discreet and looks more like a trendy bracelet than a high-tech piece of equipment. Switzerland is famous for its watches, and Aktiia certainly benefited from the Swiss craft in this field.
Acquiring precise Blood pressure measures and keeping hypertension under control is an easy four steps process:
- Using the app, calibrate the bracelet with the included cuff,
- Wear it and forget it. Measurement will be conducted in the background without having to think about them,
- Sync the data using Bluetooth with your iOS or Android phone or tablet,
- A PDF file can be shared with your doctor. Always consult your physician and never change your current treatment posology without his approval.
How is Aktiia changing Blood Pressure Monitoring?
We all know that the management of hypertension requires the analysis of blood pressure patterns. But it is easier said than done. We usually do not carry a blood pressure cuff in our bag…even though smartwatches such as the Omron HeartGuide allow us to measure it while out of the home.
Diagnosis and management of high blood pressure require regular measurements. When Home BP monitors offer the possibility of measuring blood pressure daily or even a couple of times a day, it is impossible to check it during the night while sleeping.
Several research articles identified the correlation between nighttime blood pressure and cardiac event. Recently, a Japanese study analyzed the levels of more than 6,300 people during the night. They found a positive between nighttime BP levels and cardiac events such as Heart Rate failures.
By allowing 24/7 blood pressure measures, Aktiia can detect masked hypertension and give new insights to Doctors on the antihypertensive strategy to apply for specific patients. Treating hypertension is not swallowing a “one-size-fits-all” pill anymore. With such device, cardiologist have the possibilty to personalize the treatments.
A technology validated by Multiple Clinical Trials
Aktiia BP bracelet is registered as a Class IIa medical device and benefits from a CE marking in December 2020. It means that the data and technology are accurate and reliable for measuring blood pressure.
Renowned cardiologists backed up the company, and the founders have both been trained at the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microelectronics (CSEM). As a side note, I had, a couple of years ago, the chance to visit and evaluate wearable technologies developed in this center…and I have to admit that I was really impressed by the quality of their research. It comes as no surprise that such an innovative device comes from the CSEM.
To date, the device is supported by five clinical trials, and the company claims that more than 1 million blood pressure measures have been recorded as of February 2021.
To wrap up
Aktiia is a true innovation because it allows recording blood pressure over long periods of time in a non-intrusive way. The device is currently being sold in the UK and can be pre-ordered for less than $200.
We look forward to extensively test it and provide you with our first feedback about what could well be one of the most innovative blood pressure measurement devices.