Aktiia blood pressure wearable matches cuff in new study

Co-founder says it's time to embrace wearables for blood pressure
Aktiia Aktiia
Wareable is reader-powered. If you click through using links on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Aktiia, the cuffless blood pressure tracking wearable, has shown comparable results to traditional cuff, a new study has revealed.

The study, published by Hypertension Research, compared the results of ABPM and Aktiia monitor in measuring blood pressure and heart rate in 50 sessions of 52 patients.

No significant differences were found in measuring daytime systolic blood pressure (SBP) compared to a traditional cuff.

And while it found some differences in daytime diastolic blood pressure (DBP) when compared to ABPM, these were deemed to be not statistically significant.

Systolic blood pressure (SBP) is the highest pressure in the arteries when the heart pumps blood out to the body. Diastolic blood pressure (DBP) is the lowest pressure when the heart is resting and filling with blood.

It means that Aktiaa produced blood pressure data comparable to that of a traditional ambulatory blood pressure monitor for both systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements during the day.

And it shows that wrist-worn, non-invasive wearables have a huge role to play in the treatment of hypertension. This could be particularly beneficial for patients who require regular blood pressure monitoring, such as those with hypertension, diabetes, or heart disease.

However, the study has some obvious limitations. It was conducted on a small sample of patients, and the results may not be generalizable to other populations. 

Moreover, the study only evaluated the daytime measurements, and further studies are needed to determine the accuracy of the Aktiia monitor for 24-hour monitoring.

But Aktiia co-founder and CTO Josep Solà believes that while non-invasive, optical heart rate-based sensors may not provide the gold standard yet – we should still accept that they offer 

“Today, I’m convinced that the deployment of optical blood pressure monitors will be the key technological piece that will transform hypertension management forever, bringing blood pressure control to a scale that was never imagined before,” he said in a post on LinkedIn.

And he challenged the notion that we should wait until wearable, optical technologies were producing gold-standard data before widespread uptake: 

“I hate the idea of limiting the deployment of a new technology because of us, biased individuals, we continuously keep comparing and evaluating it against old legacy alternatives,” he said.

“If 20 years ago the clinical community had not embraced the idea that continuous glucose monitors would transform diabetes management forever, we would still be performing twice-a-day finger-stick punctures to pediatric patients,” he continued.

And he reiterated the benefits that all-day, on-demand blood pressure will have for suffers of hypertension – few of whom take the daily measurements recommended by physicians.

“Of course, the continuous estimation of blood pressure from optical sensors will not provide the same information as an invasive blood pressure catheter provides in the operating room, but their relative equivalence combined with their ease of use will allow to deploy the concept of continuous blood pressure control at home, and finally improve health outcomes across hypertensive populations,” he said.

How we test

James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and T3.com and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

Related stories