Valencell is launching a digital health product line to help prevent or manage chronic diseases. The company’s first product, which will be showcased at the CES this week in Las Vegas, is focused on helping people monitor and manage hypertension by combining an intuitive app with an over-the-counter device to accurately measure blood pressure (BP) from the finger without a cuff or calibration.
Valencell was founded in 2006 with a vision to help people live longer, healthier lives. Valencell’s proven inventions, sensor technology, and algorithms can be found in tens of millions of wearable and hearable devices. These devices are manufactured by companies including Samsung, Suunto, Bose, Jabra, Huawei, and Sony.
While Valencell was established as a technology provider in consumer sports and fitness wearables, its foundational technology has the potential to realize the dream of seamless chronic disease management through easy-to-use, high-compliance digital health solutions.
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According to the CDC (United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), “Nearly half of adults in the United States (47% or 116 million) have hypertension.” Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can increase an individual’s risk for heart attacks, heart disease, strokes, poor cognitive function and dementia, kidney disease, and other ailments.
The newly announced blood pressure monitor by Valencell is about to make monitoring your blood pressure at home much easier.
Currently, people measure their blood pressure at home with an automated blood pressure cuff, which is also known as a sphygmomanometer. The sphygmomanometer’s cuff is wrapped around the user’s arm and inflated by a built-in air pump. As the cuff is slowly deflated, a microphone listens to the flow of blood through an artery in the user’s arm. It then uses this information, along with measurements of the air pressure in the cuff, to provide the user with their blood pressure result. These devices can be somewhat clumsy to use and subject to error if the cuff is not placed properly on the user’s arm.
Valencell’s new product is being designed to measure blood pressure in less than a minute using a small probe on the middle finger without the need for bulky or painful cuffs. Photoplethysmography (PPG) sensors within the device use reflected light to measure blood flow patterns. Proprietary AI algorithms, developed from PPG datasets comprising more than 7,000 patients, will be used to process this information with physical characteristics (age, weight, gender, and height) to calculate a blood pressure measurement. Diastolic and systolic results are then displayed on the device’s built-in screen and transmitted via Bluetooth to the app.
Although the device has been designed as a standalone blood pressure monitor, it has the potential to become a powerful tool to help manage hypertension when paired with its accompanying app. The mobile app can track and store readings and allow users to set reminders to take their blood pressure. Users also will have the ability to view trends over time, track the frequency of their measurements, and download and share data.
Valencell will soon expand the app’s capabilities to enable seamless hypertension management. After providing users with a baseline of their current blood pressure profile, the app will help coach users, through targeted diet and exercise plans, toward improved cardiovascular health, followed by ongoing health maintenance. A further upgrade will enable integration within digital healthcare platforms used by healthcare providers to improve physician-directed care.
Pending FDA Clearance, the launch of the Valencell fingertip device will further the company’s vision of bringing life-changing digital health solutions to consumers and is a strategic evolution for the company. It is expected to retail for just $99.