IDT International Limited is claiming to have developed the world's first Bluetooth low energy (or Bluetooth Smart) blood pressure monitor, which is expected to be ready to go into volume production by March 2012 after receiving final US FDA and MDD (Europe) medical certification.
The blood pressure monitor features Nordic Semiconductor's nRF8001's class-leading ultra-low power performance has enabled IDT to achieve the same 4-6 month operating life from four AA batteries for its Bluetooth low energy blood pressure monitor as its existing standalone designs under typical operating conditions (2x readings per day).
Any smartphone, computer, or health hub designated as Bluetooth version 4.0 Smart Ready can now use the new blood pressure monitor to communicate with a wireless Bluetooth low energy/Smart blood pressure monitor and send collected (systolic and diastolic) data via SMS or email to healthcare providers - or even just concerned relatives - including automatically alerting any unusually high or low readings immediately.
The device will also record the user's resting pulse and detect any irregularities in their heart beat, allowing these parameters to be remotely monitored too, can support two separate users, and give voice instructions and readings to World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations (such as "your blood pressure is normal, slightly high, or high").
"We see our Bluetooth low energy blood pressure monitor as a game changer for the consumer mobile health market," states Danny Leung, Engineering Manager of IDT's medical and sports & fitness division. "It can be used by anyone [the end user has to do nothing more than put the cuff on their upper arm and press a button] and means that for the first time collected data can be sent via SMS or email to remote locations using a device that in many cases the user will already own [e.g. a smartphone or computer] and be able to use for no additional cost."
"This means mass-market, low cost remote blood pressure monitoring for all suddenly becomes a commercial reality," adds Geir Langeland, Nordic Semiconductor's Director of Sales & Marketing. "And this will be a welcome development for already critically over-stretched healthcare providers and agencies looking for new ways to cope with hypertension issues caused by a rapidly aging population [everyone is at risk of developing high blood pressure as they age] and explosion in lifestyle-related high blood pressure risk factors such as obesity."
"But medical will not be the only use case, and I expect Bluetooth low energy blood pressure monitors will spur the development of a whole new range of consumer-targeted Bluetooth low energy-based health and medical apps that could include new ways of collecting, interpreting, and displaying blood pressure data - including even motivational social media-based data and progress sharing where blood pressure and indeed resting pulse become as universally accepted health parameters as weight and body fat are today."
For further information: http://www.idthk.com, http://www.nordicsemi.com.
This article originally appeared on EE Times Europe.