New tech offers fresh hope for hypertension

Two start-up companies are using new technology to resurrect old but crude strategies to combat hypertension, believing that they can achieve significant improvement in health without the side effects. The Wall Street Journal reports that the companies offered data at the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Cardiology that indicated they were on to something big.

One of those companies, Ardian, developed an electrode that emits radio-frequency energy into the renal artery wall to kill nerves that play a role in hypertension, according to the Journal. And data from a 50-patient study indicated a significant improvement in average blood pressure rates. Minneapolis-based CVRx, meanwhile, created a device that is implanted and then emits electronic impulses that signal very high blood pressure, tricking the body to protect itself with all its natural abilities.

Both developers are now planning to mount larger studies to test the technologies.

Hypertension is a huge opportunity for developers. According to the stats, roughly a third of the adult population in the U.S. suffers from the condition, but only a third of the people who have it are effectively treated. Another third are not diagnosed and the final third either don't get the needed response to their drugs or don't take their meds on schedule.

- read the story from the Wall Street Journal