On the 21st of February The BBC ran a very interesting news article about a device that ‘could revolutionise blood pressure monitoring.’
I have already written and posted a video on my blog about this self same device, which you can read and watch right here.
The the British Heart Foundation are saying ‘it could take 5 more years of research before it can be proven and found in Doctor’s surgeries’ This is utter clap trap in my opinion. These devices do not cost vast amounts of money and can predict the early onset of vascular disease which could reduce the number of angiogram’s and operations that the NHS have to pay for.
Cost saving number 1.
Here’s an example. 1/3 of all people die from vascular related diseases across the UK and indeed that number in certain countries can be 1 in 2 (WHO Stats).
We use the device to screen 100 males aged 55. It would be fair to assume that at least 30 of them will have an elevated central pressure. Cost to screen about £10,000 and the opportunity to take action using lifestyle changes before they become either another cost or statistic.
Following the traditional route if these 30 men are referred by their GP for an Angiogram the cost born by the NHS and tax payer leaps to £75,000 and that is just the start. Add to that the monthly prescription costs, surgery, including stent’s and bypass surgery, hospitalisation, after care and rehabilitation, the cost will soon be in 6 figures and here we are only talking about 30 people.

Here’s what Professor Bryan Williams had to say about the device.

“The aorta is millimetres away from the heart and close to the brain and we have always known that pressure here is a bit lower than in the arm.”

“Unless we measure the pressure in the aorta we are not getting an appreciation of the risks or benefits of treatment.”

He said the device would “change the way blood pressure has been monitored for more than a century” and he expected the technology to be used in specialist centres soon, before being “used much more widely” within five years.

“The beauty of all of this is that it is difficult to argue against the proposition that the pressure near to your heart and brain is likely to be more relevant to your risk of stroke and heart disease than the pressure in your arm,” he said.

“But it was important to ensure the new device was as small as possible to encourage clinicians and patients to use it” he added.

The research work was funded by the Department of Health’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

“This is a great example of how research breakthroughs and innovation can make a real difference to patients’ lives”

Andrew Lansley
Health Secretary

The full article can be read at The BBC News Web Site

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