Smartwatch May Help Parkinson’s Patients Manage Blood Pressure Drops

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Tracking blood pressure with a smartwatch could help people with Parkinson’s disease cope with the sudden drop in blood pressure – called orthostatic hypotension, according to a study by researchers at Samsung Medical Center in South Korea. – which can occur when changing position.

Measurements obtained with Samsung’s Galaxy Watch3 smartwatch were comparable to those obtained with a conventional blood pressure cuff. However, the smartwatch is more portable and convenient to use, according to the company.

“Orthostatic hypotension is a common and difficult symptom that affects people living with [Parkinson’s disease]. But it is difficult to screen just by observing the symptoms, and the problem may go unnoticed during measurement. [blood pressure]”the team said in a press release.

“If we could use a connected watch to measure patients” [blood pressure] regularly and detect potential problems at an early stage, it would really help to treat and manage [Parkinson’s disease],” they said.

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The study, “Validation of blood pressure measurement using a connected watch in patients with Parkinson’s disease, ”Was published in Frontiers in Neurology.

Orthostatic hypotension is a common non-motor symptom of Parkinson’s disease and is characterized by the body’s inability to maintain adequate blood pressure and blood flow to the brain when a person gets up from a sitting position or changes of position. It results in dizziness, lightheadedness, fatigue, and blurred vision, among other symptoms, and may cause some people to fall or faint.

“One study reported that 32% of patients with [Parkinson’s] had orthostatic hypotension (OH), which is associated with a poorer prognosis, cognitive decline, and a higher risk of falls, ”the researchers wrote.

The condition is caused by the impaired release of the norepinephrine signaling molecule upon standing. This, in turn, is due to dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system – which controls involuntary actions such as digestion and heart rate – which is often associated with an underlying neurodegenerative disorder such as Parkinson’s disease.

Taking regular blood pressure readings is crucial to managing orthostatic hypotension and could be done using a smart watch that tracks blood pressure “anytime, anywhere,” the researchers wrote.

Previously, according to researchers, patients with Parkinson’s disease were excluded, due to tremors, from validation studies testing smartwatches. “These were thought to be unsuitable topics for validation of blood pressure measurement… due to involuntary movements,” the team wrote.

Now, these investigators have looked at the accuracy and reliability of blood pressure measurements using a smart watch. To this end, they compared the measurements of the Galaxy Watch3 (model SM-R850) to those of a sphygmomanometer, a device often used in clinics and at home to measure blood pressure.

The smartwatch is equipped with a sensor capable of detecting changes in the volume of blood flowing along capillaries or tiny blood vessels. Users can then monitor their blood pressure and other vital parameters in the Samsung Health Monitor app and share them with healthcare professionals.

It should be noted that the app is not intended to diagnose high blood pressure (hypertension) or other conditions, nor to look for signs of a heart attack.

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The study included 56 people – 33 men and 23 women – with an average age of around 67 years. Participants wore a sphygmomanometer on one arm and the Galaxy Watch3 on the other, and each person had their blood pressure measured with both devices three times.

The systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings taken by the two devices were closely correlated, meaning they were comparable. It is worth noting that systolic blood pressure is the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats and fills them with blood, while diastolic blood pressure is the pressure in the arteries when the heart is resting between beats.

The researchers concluded that a smartwatch such as the Galaxy Watch3 “is an accurate and reliable method” for measuring blood pressure, adding that these results suggest that “[blood pressure] smart watch measurement will become an important tool in PD monitoring [Parkinson’s disease]. “

The limitation of the study included its small size and the exclusion of patients with severe tremor at rest.

Blood pressure monitoring is currently available through the Samsung Health Monitor app and is available in around 40 countries, the company said.


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