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Most promising blood pressure monitoring tech in years isn’t out in the U.S. yet

Heart disease is one of the most prevalent and deadliest conditions in the world, especially because it can so often go undiagnosed. Many people walk around with severe complications that make them a ticking time bomb. Today, Aktiia announced the availability of the first-ever 24/7 automated blood pressure monitor — something we got a first look at during CES 2020. Users wear the device and it gathers information about their blood pressure and other health metrics all throughout the day and night.

The device doesn’t work like traditional blood pressure monitors. Rather than squeezing your arm each time it needs a measurement, the Aktiia Optical Blood Pressure Monitor monitors your blood pressure by analyzing the diameter of the blood vessels with each heartbeat. This happens automatically, so users are never aware of the test, and therefore do not skew the results by being anxious or behaving differently.

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The device received approval for release in the U.K., and pre-orders will start today. During the pre-order period, the price will be set at 159 British pouds, a 20% discount from the standard price of 199 British pounds. The purchase includes the Optical Bracelet, Initialization Cuff, and Mobile App.

The 24/7 blood pressure monitoring service will require a monthly subscription fee of 9 British pounds per month, but pre-order customers will receive access to the service for free.

The Aktiia has not been approved for release in the United States yet, but having just received its CE Mark Approval in Europe, the device will no doubt be taken under review by the FDA for use here.

The Aktiia looks like any other bracelet, so no one will even know you are wearing a blood pressure monitor. You can take the information the device gathers and present it to your doctor. It’s worth using even if you’re healthy, as changes in your blood pressure can help you identify problems before they can worsen. You can also use the information to identify periods of high stress and make changes to your routine.

After the previous year, many people are more aware of their health than ever before. If you want to take a more proactive approach, a wearable blood pressure monitor can help you stay on top of potential problems and cut them off at the pass.

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