The Aktiia is a small medical wearable device that takes optical blood pressure readings throughout the day. Frequent measurements can provide valuable insights, including how medication or sleep impacts the patient’s blood pressure.
High blood pressure increases a person’s risk of stroke and heart disease. Regular blood pressure monitoring is vital for early detection and intervention before any complications.
Most patients don’t see a doctor or visit their healthcare clinic frequently, which means readings are sporadic. There can be inaccuracies in these readings as they can be high due to white coat hypertension or stress when in a medical setting. And, high blood pressure or hypertension can easily go missed when readings are sparse. The European Society of Cardiology recommends that regular out-of-clinic blood pressures provide a better picture of someone’s cardiovascular health. A person could buy one of many blood pressure monitors available to use at home, such as the smart blood pressure monitor from Withings. However, the inflatable cuff still needs to be placed around the arm, and cheaper alternatives don’t have smart features such as calculating average blood pressure readings – These give doctors a better understanding of long term control.
Recently, we featured OMRON HeartGuide, the first wearable technology to have health monitoring within a wristband. It does use traditional tech in terms of checking the reading, but it’s all miniaturised with a smaller cuff being inflated at the touch of a button within the watch. Now, we have a new contender using a different type of innovation.
Aktiia is a smart wearable device developed in Switzerland that takes optical blood pressure readings. It takes 100 measurements each week and provides insights to the patient and their healthcare team through the mobile app. A unique feature is that readings are also taken at night when sleeping.
To begin, the medical device needs to be calibrated with a cuff and synced with a smartphone. The rechargeable battery lasts up to nine days, with readings taken automatically in resting periods. It’s classified as a medical device, its accuracy has been validated with five clinical trials, and there have been one million readings with the smartwatch so far – It’s taken over 15 years to develop.
With so many data points each week, it takes very little time for helpful, accurate insights to form. Using Aktiia’s technology can help paint a picture of how medications impact the patient’s blood pressure, whether or not they are maintaining their target range, and how various lifestyle factors impact them, such as stress, food, and exercise. The Aktiia is available for pre-order in the UK only, with shipping to begin at the end of March 2021.