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Computer Mouse Measures Blood Pressure

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 01 Dec 2010
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Image: The MDMouse blood pressure meter (photo courtesy CalHealth).
Image: The MDMouse blood pressure meter (photo courtesy CalHealth).
A novel combined mouse/blood pressure device communicates with software installed on the computer to save regular readings for later analysis.

The MDMouse is a standard computer mouse equipped with a slide-out sphygmomanometer, an integrated a pneumatic pump, and a pressure sensor, all powered via a universal serial bus (USB) connection; a finger-sized cuff; and application software that resides on the personal computer (PC) where the blood pressure (BP) readings are displayed. The pressure against the finger inserted into the cuff opening is initially increased until arterial vessel pulsation is beyond cutoff. The cuff pressure is then slowly decreased until the first detection of arterial vessel pulsation occurs; the corresponding cuff pressure at this point will be substantially equal to systolic BP.

As cuff pressure continues to be decreased, arterial vessel pulsations eventually become undetectable; the pressure of the cuff at this point is substantially equal to diastolic BP. The frequency of pulsations sensed between the systolic and diastolic pressures is measured and is substantially equal to the heartbeat rate or pulse rate of the individual. The two cuff pressures and the pulsation frequency are measured and captured by the MDMouse application software.

The application software installed on the user's PC then utilizes the digital data to create a display of the blood pressure readings and pulse rate. The software also provides additional functions, including recording the data and graphically plotting it over a number of parameters, such as three-day averages. Data communication is also handled by the application software, including sending e-mails to medical personnel or archiving data. The MDMouse is a product of CalHealth (Irvine, CA, USA).

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