Sheng Xu, Brady Huang, and UCSD colleagues have developed a small, wearable ultrasound patch that monitors blood pressure in arteries up to 4 centimeters under the skin. It is meant to detect cardiovascular problems earlier, with greater accuracy
Applications include continuous blood pressure monitoring in heart and lung disease, the critically ill, and those undergoing surgery. It could be used to measure other vital signs, but this was not studied.
The wearable measures central blood pressure, considered more accurate and better at predicting disease than peripheral blood pressure. Central blood pressure is not routinely measured, and involves a catheter inserted into a blood vessel in the arm, groin or neck, and guiding to the heart. A non-invasive method exists, but it does not produce consistently accurate readings.