Alternative to mercury BP monitor developed

We shall be launching it in the market soon, says IIT Ropar team

The Indian Institute of Technology Ropar has developed an alternative to the mercury blood pressure monitor that works just like the mercury type but is free of mercury.

India is a signatory to the Minamata Convention of the World Health Organization (WHO) under which mercury BP monitors are to be banned. The environmental treaty aims at safeguarding human health and the environment from the dangerous effects of mercury.

In a recent survey published in the journal Blood Pressure Monitoring by Ravinder Kumar and Dr. Ashish Sahani of IIT Ropar, and Dr. G.S. Wander from the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital(DMCH), Ludhiana, it was found that Indian clinicians still have a high opinion of mercury blood pressure monitors as they consider it more accurate than other devices.

Dr. Sahani told The Hindu that their team has developed an alternative. “We have filed a patent on it and shall be launching it in the market soon.”

Widespread problem

Dr. Sahani said high blood pressure is a widespread problem in India and about 30% of deaths can be linked to cardiovascular diseases indicated by it. “Accurate measurement of BP is essential for early diagnosis and treatment. Currently, there are three primary methods of measurement — Mercury BP Monitor, Aneroid BP Monitor and Automatic BP Monitor. Mercury is a known pollutant and is poisonous to human health. Most developed countries have already banned it, and have moved to validated automatic BP monitoring devices,” he said.

“In one of our surveys, we found that the overwhelming majority of doctors consider mercury BP monitor as the gold standard and would be happy to adopt the ‘mercury-free’ technology once it is in market,” said Dr. Wander.

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