DIY BLOODPRESSURE MONITOR

Make a blood pressure tester that’s tough, smart, and mobile.

BY ALEX RUSSELL, GARRICK ORCHARD, AND CAROL REILEY

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is deadly: it can lead to heart failure, stroke, and kidney failure. One-third of Americans have it, and in the developing world it’s the leading killer of pregnant women due to lack of screening.

Existing blood pressure tests are painless but the equipment is flawed: it’s delicate and impractical in many settings, and it contains mercury, which is toxic when released into the environment. It’s also prone to human error, because it depends on a doctor listening to the patient’s pulse through a stethoscope.

So we came up with a DIY blood pressure monitor that’s ...

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