We've seen some wild ideas when it comes to blood pressure
-- including, yes, underpants
-- but this newest device, a small monitor attached to the hand, which can be worn 24 hours a day for continuous monitoring, strikes us as having the potential for extreme usefulness. The monitor works differently than regular old blood pressure cuff, using a method called pulse wave velocity, which measures the pulse at two points along an artery. Built by a team of engineers at MIT, this prototype could boast a lot of advantages over monitors, including its portability, its ability to see long-term patterns of rises and falls in pressure, and of course -- you wouldn't have to be at the doctor's office to use it -- which is bound to take a little stress out of the equation. The device is moving toward commercial production and Harry Asada, leader of the MIT team, sees the possibility for monitoring conditions such as sleep apnea in the future as well.