Apple is continuously working on improving the health-related features that it offers with its devices. The company announced a number of new health features for its devices at WWDC 2019 couple of weeks back. These features include the Noise app, cycle tracking, activity trends, and period tracking. However, that is not all, the company is continuously working on adding new features to its devices to improve health tracking. A new report revealed that researchers have discovered a way to measure the blood pressure without the need for any external hardware.
Currently, the Apple iPhone or any other smartphone can measure the blood pressure of the user. But the user needs to use an external device to actually measure the recordings and then send it to the device. The new report by Quartz revealed that the new technology uses a short selfie video to measure the blood pressure. What is more interesting is that the report states that this is accurate about 95 percent of the time. This could be a life-changer as high blood pressure does not showcase any symptoms. The report noted that high blood pressure can lead to a number of problems including heart attack or stroke. It can also cause damage to organs including kidneys, brain, eyes, arteries, and other essential organs.
How blood pressure measurement may work on a smartphone
The report noted that there are about 1.3 billion people with high blood pressure across the globe. However, a larger number of them may not know about the problem as it needs medical attention for diagnosis. Researchers at the University of Toronto in Canada and Hospital of Hangzhou Normal University in China teamed up for this method. The team posted a proof-of-concept video showcasing a user measuring his blood pressure using a short selfie video. As part of the report, psychologist Kang Lee stated, “We’re using a tech called a transdermal optical imaging.”
Lee initially set out to work on a smartphone-based lie detector. He went on to explain that the smartphone takes about 900 images in 30 seconds to read the blood pressure. The research team took the measurements and then used them to train a machine-learning algorithm which gave them over 95 percent accuracy. However, the measurements and the machine learning algorithm is based on the testes done on light-skinned people of East Asian or European descent. The researches have to ensure that this method of measurement works on all its users regardless of their skin color.