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Side and bottom views of the tband...optical sensor (green) measures heart rate
The tband from Smartron measures BP & traces ECG

You can check your temperature  & BP at home. And  your heart  rate. And  test for  blood sugar. Now a Hyderabad start-up  lets us perform that crucial cardiac  test--  the ECG
June 11 2018:Self administered clinical tests   are now a reality -- though some doctors  cast doubts on their accuracy. New lifestyles create new medical problems which require constant monitoring.   Sticking a thermometer under  a child's tongue is something our grandparents have done  for ages.  Monitoring blood pressure and pulse rate is a more  recent necessity  and  lakhs of sufferers from chronic hypertension have learned to use  a cuff or wrist-based electronic BP apparatus, thus avoiding a visit to a clinic. Diabetes   is  now so widely prevalent, that home  glucometers  sell in lakhs --and provide at least,  a rough guide one's blood sugar levels.  So far so good -- but the  last frontier and the big challenge of   DIY tests  remained:  the electro cardio graph or ECG which is a crucial  test  of one's cardiac health.
ECGs are messy -- all those  wires stuck to your torso,  and  that  sticky paste.... Visiting a clinic was unavoidable -- as was the  expense which is around Rs 150-250.   Not any more.
In a  disruptive innovation,  Hyderabad-based Smartron has launched a  wrist wearable, called  the tband,  that for the first time in India, offers users the ability to  capture their ECG -- as  well as  BP and heart rate.  You may ask : How can  an ECG which conventionally measures with 12 leads be squeezed into a tiny watch sized device with no leads. The answer is  advancing technology which uses  a tiny bio sensor connected to three electrodes on the device,  which measure the electrical activity  much like the conventional  ECG .
The makers point out that the device is not a substitute for a  lab ECG administered by a technician. But  in many cases,  it will provide a quick guide  -- and a trace that you can  send via mobile phone to your doctor --  that may help to decide : Is that a heart attack building up , or a case of 'gas'?  
For a few days, our Tech Video spot on the home page
features a tband explanatory video. Later you can see it here.
Similarly, the  tband, uses  an optical sensor, to measure the heart rate.   BP is measured by combining the data provided by the ECG and heart rate sensors  using what is called Pulse Wave Transit Time (PWTT)  and unlike  cuff-type instruments,   it doesn't put a stress on the heart.  A built in 100 mAh battery ( which can be charged, using the magnetic charging dock provided) keeps the device going for 2-3 days  and an OLED display  lets you toggle through the various functions.   
One caution. The tband needs to be calibrated for each user with his or her normal readings. The mobile app allows you to set up different user profiles and also displays the ECG trace which can be  messaged to your medical adviser.

Like most smart wrist wearables, the tband  also  tracks activity, monitors sleep, measures distance covered, calories burnt.... but these seem almost mundane compared to the trishul of clinical measurements it can perform.  
Squeezing all this functionality into  such a tiny device, was a huge technology challenge and involved  months of development by Smartron engineers who  also harnessed research  at some leading academic centres abroad,explains  co-founder and President Rohit Rathi.
The tband is available at  Flipkart and is compellingly priced at Rs 4999.


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