Uncontrolled high blood pressure affects one-third of Americans and correlates to heart disease, strokes, kidney disease, and other complications. In 2012, a group of MIT researchers hatched a plan to measure blood pressure around the clock with a wristwatch. Their idea would only succeed if the watch were something people chose to wear all the time.
We designed a wristwatch that would appeal to fashion-conscious seniors who desired discreet blood pressure monitoring. This device combined a dead-fronted set of OLED displays behind watch hands that turned off until a user interacted with the device. Nested in the watch was an accelerometer and heart rate sensor to track blood pressure and other health indicators. While the watch's design was successful, the technology didn't deliver consistent results, forcing the company to close its doors. Had the concept succeeded, it would have preceded the Apple Watch to market and revolutionized the emerging field of wearable computing.