HEALTH NOTES: There’s now a bracelet to check blood pressure instead of that uncomfortable ‘sleeve’ machine
Scientists have developed a stylish way of measuring blood pressure – with a bracelet. And studies show it to be just as effective as the GP’s uncomfortable ‘sleeve’ machine.
The sleek monitor, called Aktiia, is a Fitbit-style band that checks blood pressure round the clock.
Early trials show that it is just as accurate as conventional testing kits, although it is worth noting that this research is funded by the company.
The sleek monitor (pictured on the wrist), called Aktiia, is a Fitbit-style band that checks blood pressure round the clock
The experimental device analyses the rate at which blood is moving through the arteries in the wrist to compute blood pressure and displays the readings on a linked screen.
It’s still at the early stages – only six volunteers have tried it – but larger trials are planned this year.
Try leech saliva to ease your backache
Sore back? A blood-sucking leech might help, according to new research.
Doctors at the University of Berlin found placing the slimy parasite on the back for 60 seconds to be as effective as painkillers and yoga for easing pain.
Just one session of ‘leech therapy’ produced greater reductions in pain than four weekly sessions of yoga, physiotherapy or acupuncture.
Doctors at the University of Berlin found placing a leech (pictured) on the back for 60 seconds to be as effective as painkillers and yoga for easing pain
Four weeks after the treatment, pain symptoms dropped by nearly half, according to the researchers.
Leeches are thought to promote healthy blood flow and reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis.
The secret is said to lie in the worm’s saliva, which contains substances that have anti-inflammatory, anti-coagulant and analgesic effects.
A powerful new ‘poly-pill’ is offering hope to NHS patients with incurable kidney cancer.
Recent clinical trials found that patients taking the potent combination therapy lived a year longer than those taking the standard treatment. In the study of almost 2,000 patients given just months to live, a third fewer deaths were seen in the poly-pill group.
The immunotherapy pills, a combination of two drugs, nivolumab plus ipilimumab, were so effective that the drug trial was stopped early.
A powerful new ‘poly-pill’ is offering hope to NHS patients with incurable kidney cancer (stock image)
It was deemed unethical to deny the standard drug group of participants the lifesaving drug.
Health watchdog NICE has now made the dual drug available to NHS patients through the Cancer Drugs Fund.
Hypnotise away your IBS
Being hypnotised over Skype can dramatically reduce common bowel pain. A study found hypnotherapy via the video-call app slashed symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) by 70 per cent. Before the treatment, 65 per cent of patients had severe IBS. After 11 hour-long sessions, the numbers dropped to 25 per cent.
Professor Peter Whorwell, consultant gastroenterologist at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester, said: ‘Skype is an ideal way to treat patients who find travel difficult.’
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