Why Smart Rings Might Be the Future of Blood Pressure Monitoring

Wearable smart devices have become popular primarily because of their ability to measure health and fitness data, and smart rings are raising the standard by being compact and discreet. Their sensors can measure many of the same things smartwatches can, including our steps and heart rate.

But how effective are they really? For example, is it possible to get early warning signs from a smart ring that could measure blood pressure?

Smart rings lined up next to a symbolic heart and a magnifying glass questioning blood pressure measurement

Key Takeaways

  • Not every smart ring can measure blood pressure.
  • A few smart rings use photoplethysmography (PPM) to measure various health metrics, including blood pressure.
  • The technology is still reasonably new in smart rings, so few of them support it.

Can Smart Rings Measure Your Blood Pressure?

Measuring blood pressure with wearable technology isn’t new, and the technology that does it is already found in several smartwatches, including Samsung’s Galaxy Watch. But it took a while for technology to evolve to the point where the sensors were small enough to make them fit into the tiny outline of a smart ring.

As things stand right now, very few smart rings can monitor blood pressure.

Smart Rings that Measure Blood Pressure

As time goes on, more and more smart rings will begin to support blood pressure monitoring, especially since tech giants like Samsung and Apple have started to show interest in smart ring technology. But for now, there are a few notable rings with the necessary functionality that you could try out.

CART-I Plus

The CART-I Plus is a medical smart ring manufactured by Sky Labs in South Korea. The CART-I range consists of smart rings specifically designed for medical purposes. In other words, they aren’t made with smartwatch functionality in mind and don’t focus on giving you notifications or the types of feedback you would get from other smart rings.

Instead, CART-I uses photoplethysmography (PPG) and other technologies to read the wearer’s heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and blood pressure, among other things. This information is then synced to the user’s smartphone for real-time data that can also be shared with a cardiologist if they so choose.

VELIA

Velia is a new smart ring that’s still in its pre-order phase. It’s an unintrusive and normal-looking ring that claims to have the world’s smallest PPG sensors. The technology was designed by two Swiss engineers at the prestigious EPFL University in Lausanne. It is said to be able to monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, heart rate variability, respiration rate, blood oxygenation, stress, and more.

Why Should Smart Rings Monitor Blood Pressure?

Current blood pressure monitors have two significant disadvantages: they can be clunky and don’t perform constant monitoring.

People’s blood pressure can rise and fall throughout the day, depending on stress, hydration, activity levels, and other factors. This means periodic blood pressure measurements don’t always provide the most current data. A device that can consistently measure your blood pressure solves this problem and can give you an early warning if there’s a potential problem.

Smartwatches solve that problem to some extent, but very few people wear their smartwatches all day, every day. Smart rings, on the other hand, are compact and unintrusive in most situations, so they are much easier to wear almost permanently (except when they’re on charge), which means they can measure your blood pressure more consistently.

Conclusion

Though smart rings can measure many things, blood pressure monitoring is still a rarity in such a small form factor. It exists, but It’s currently mainly available in smart rings that were designed specifically for medical purposes. The technology will likely spread to other manufacturers soon, but if you’re looking for a smart ring to measure blood pressure, there are a few options available.

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