New BP cuff wraps up bariatric market

Saturday, March 31, 2007

MILPITAS, Calif. - A&D Medical plans to jump into the bariatric market this month or next with a first-of-its-kind product: a specialty blood pressure monitor with a 26.6-inch arm cuff.
In addition to the cuff, the unit's monitor comes with a high performance motor that can inflate the giant cuff at a comfortable rate, said Sarah Schiltz, A&D's director of medical marketing. Inflating a cuff this size with a motor for a standard cuff--the largest run about 18 inches--would be like using a bicycle pump to blow up a car tire. That's why the "monitor is very important," she stressed.
A&D joins a growing list of companies crafting specialty products--from hospital beds to compression hosiery--for the bariatric market, which shows no sign of slowing anytime soon.
A&D's new blood pressure monitor is a cash item and can also be used by weightlifters and other large athletes, Schiltz said.
Currently, obese people who need to check their blood pressure either do it at home with an ill-fitting cuff, or they make a special trip to their doctor's office or to a hospital, where they must use a thigh cuff, a very uncomfortable procedure.
"A&D has made a conscious decision to develop products for everyone and recognizes that this is a niche market," Schiltz said. "There is not going to be tremendous volume here, but it is a very important product for (obese) patients, who are traditionally most in need of a monitor."
In addition to a full line of blood pressure monitors, A&D also manufactures digital thermometers, personal scales and stethoscopes, among other things.