By: MESM (Medical Equipment Supplies & Management)  08/04/2009
Keywords: medical equipment, Laboratory Equipment, medical equipment supplies

Blood Pressure is the most commonly performed medical test in the world. It is also the only test to accurately diagnose and manage hypertension, which has been identified by the WHO 2002 World Health Report as the most important risk factor for mortality and #3 risk factor for burden of disease worldwide. Blood pressure (BP) measurement has been one of the most neglected areas of medical management in modern times.   BP can be measured either manually using a stethoscope and sphygmomanometer, or mechanically using an electronic device. The manual method, originally described in 1896 and refined in 1905, has not changed significantly over the past century. It is generally very poorly performed with many publications showing how poorly reproducible measurements are between practitioners. With the recent shift towards eliminating mercury instruments, many clinicians have turned to electronic devices. There are currently over 800 manufacturers of electronic BP devices worldwide, but unfortunately very few of them have undergone independent validation according to one of the recognized testing protocols for accuracy. The protocols are set by the British Hypertension Society, the European Society of Hypertension, ad the American Association for Medical Instrumentation, and others. This lack of accuracy testing gives rise to some concern by clinicians and medical administrators. To address this issue, the hypertension community has developed a website that monitors the world’s literature for peer-reviewed articles testing various devices against these standards. This website can be found at www.dableducational.com.   BP can be measured in many locations, including the medical office/clinic, home, pharmacy, laboratory and even ambulatory (ABPM) during the course of a full day of normal activities. In recent years, office BP measurement has received significant negative attention, mainly due to difficulty of obtaining reliable, reproducible and accurate readings in the office setting. Compounding the accuracy issue is the “white-coat” effect, in which a patient’s BP is often higher in the office than it is at home or when using ABPM.   Recent hypertension meetings have focused on how practitioners can best obtain a BP reading that is accurate and meaningful. Since the office setting has been seen as unreliable no matter which method of measurement is used, thought leaders have concentrated on out-of-office measurements to address this issue. The current gold standard for measurement is the ambulatory BP monitor (ABPM) which takes readings 3-4 times per hour during daytime and 1-2 readings per hour during the night, giving the clinician 50-80 readings in a 24-hour period. This test is difficult to do, utilizing nursing personnel to explain the test, administer it and remove the device, as well as physician time to interpret the report. In addition, patients are significantly inconvenienced during the test and are often not eager to repeat it.   In recent years a new standard for measuring blood pressure has emerged, the Automated Office Blood Pressure (AOBP). In this method, BP is measured during an office visit with a validated electronic instrument, the BpTRU. In the automatic mode, it will take 6 BP readings every 1 or 2 minutes, depending on the desire of the operator. By doing multiple readings with an accurate instrument, the problem of accuracy is addressed. The White-Coat issue is managed by leaving the patient alone in a room during the 6 readings. The BpTRU automatically discards the first reading, providing an average of the remaining 5 readings. In several published studies, investigators have shown that the average BpTRU AOBP measurement corresponds accurately with the ABPM average, therefore allowing every practitioner, doctors, nurses and pharmacists to obtain a “gold standard” reading at every office visit.   The BpTRU is very easy to use and maintain. With minimal training, it can be performed by non-medical support staff. It is not necessary to check calibration, as the BpTRU tests itself automatically to ensure accuracy of readings every time. Finally, it is equipped with a USB port for direct connectivity to an electronic medical record, thus avoiding transcription and entry errors.   The BpTRU is an electronic instrument that provides accurate, reliable and reproducible “gold standard” blood pressure measurements in the office or clinic setting. When performed in the Automated Office Blood Pressure mode, it will obtain readings with an accuracy and relevance that until now have only been possible with a 24 hour ambulatory monitor. It is built to withstand the rigors of multiple patients on a daily basis. It is user-friendly, allowing both non-medical support staff and professional staff such as physicians, nurses or pharmacists to use with minimal training. Finally, there is no need for Biomedical Engineering staff to be available 24/7 for testing and calibration support to ensure ongoing reliability.

Keywords: BP Monitor Hire, BP Monitoring, Clinical Study Equipment, Clinical Trial Equipment, Laboratory Equipment, medical equipment, Medical Equipment Hire, medical equipment supplies,

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