Toss the Cuff: A New Blood Pressure Patch is Here


MIAMI, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Almost half of all men and women in the U.S. have high blood pressure, yet many don’t even know it. The best way to find out is to have it checked. But maybe the old-fashioned way of putting your arm into a cuff at the doctor’s office is not the most accurate reading. Now, there’s a new way doctors are getting a better idea of what your blood pressure really is.

Hypertension specialist at University of Miami Comprehensive Hypertension Center, Maria Delgado, MD says, “Hypertension is a huge public health problem in the United States and worldwide, basically because it is a genetic and a social disease with us.”

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A blood pressure cuff is typically the way blood pressure is checked, but is it the best way? Dr. Delgado says that patients can be stressed when visiting a doctor it’s called “white coat syndrome” and she often hears …

“’At home, my blood pressure is 120 over 70. It’s just, when I come here, it goes very high.’, she tells Ivanhoe.

That’s why she believes this patch is the answer.

Dr. Delgado adds, “The patch is a very interesting technology in which by light, a sensor by light goes and transmit light to the aorta.”

In the BioBeat skin patch, light bounces from a sensor to the heart, then back to the patch, measuring heart rate, blood oxygen, and your blood pressure without you even knowing it.

“It goes through 24-hour measurement, and you don’t have any sensation that the blood pressure is being measured,” Dr. Delgado explains.

It could be particularly good for measuring blood pressure at night. A study out of Oxford found 15 percent of people aged 40 to 75 may have undiagnosed high blood pressure that only occurs at night.

Dr. Delgado says, “And you and I know that you’re not going to be measuring your blood pressure at 1:00 AM, 2:00 AM 3:00 AM. So, this patch will help us understand what is happening to you while you’re sleep.”

The BioBeat skin patch is already available for patients to use and now researchers at UC San Diego are working on an even smaller wearable ultrasound patch that uses soundwaves to track blood pressure.

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Matt Goldschmidt, Videographer & Editor.

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BACKGROUND: High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a common medical condition characterized by elevated pressure in the arteries. It’s often referred to as the “silent killer” because it typically doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms until it has reached a severe or life-threatening stage. However, left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to serious health complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and other vascular problems. High blood pressure is one of the most prevalent health conditions in the United States and affects one in every three adults. Nearly 20 percent of these individuals are unaware they are suffering from high blood pressure.



DIAGNOSING: High blood pressure typically doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms until it reaches severe levels. However, some individuals may experience headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, shortness of breath, chest pain, and fatigue. High blood pressure is diagnosed through blood pressure measurements. Blood pressure is recorded as two numbers: systolic pressure, the pressure when the heart beats, and diastolic pressure, the pressure when the heart rests between beats. Normal blood pressure is typically defined as less than 120/80 mm Hg. High blood pressure is defined as systolic pressure of 130 mm Hg or higher or diastolic pressure of 80 mm Hg or higher, confirmed with multiple readings over time.


NEW TECHNOLOGY: The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the Medtronic Symplicity Spyral renal denervation system for use in the United States. This system uses radio frequencies to disrupt overly active nerves in the kidneys and helps to lower blood pressure. Experts say “This launches a new frontier in the fight against high blood pressure,” said Jason Weidman, president of the Coronary and Renal Denervation business at Medtronic. “Especially for the many patients whose hypertension doesn’t respond to drugs, or for people who struggle to keep up with their drug regimen, Symplicity Spyral has the potential to make a major difference in their lives.”




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If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at

Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Maria Delgado, MD, Hypertension specialist

Read the entire Q&A