Dr Picone pushes for better ways to measure blood pressure

Thursday, 4 April 2019 - 3:40pm

Dr Dean Picone completed a Bachelor of Medical Research with honours in 2013 and graduated from his PhD studies at the University of Tasmania where his key reserach area is blood pressure.

You may not be surprised to hear that Dean’s current studies focus on finding a smarter way to measure blood pressure, particularly the highly-variable accuracy of cuff-measured blood pressure devices, used every day by doctors.  

As an active participant in the research community, Dean is a member of the International Society of Hypertension, the Australian Cardiovascular Alliance and also the High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia early career researcher committees.

His PhD work has been conducted in collaboration with RHH cardiologists, alongside over 40 international scientists, and has implications for the application and management of high blood pressure.

For his PhD studies, Dean was one of three finalists in the prestigious CSL Florey Next-Generation prize (selected from 87 applicants). This nationwide award acknowledges a PhD candidate for their outstanding capability, creativity and potential in the biomedical sciences.

One of the studies discovered specific blood pressure patterns that may help to improve the accuracy of measurement devices.

Dean’s next phases of research at the RHH is focused on trying to further improve the measurement of blood pressure and he has recently received a RHHRF 2019 Project Grant for this important work.

The study will recruit 150 patients undergoing coronary angiography (an invasive procedure to check for blocked heart arteries) at the RHH, so that the specific blood pressure patterns can be recorded. Detailed analysis of these patterns will allow refinement of blood pressure monitor measurement algorithms.

The ultimate goal of this study is to develop a more accurate ‘smart’ cuff blood pressure measurement method to improvethe management of hypertension which can lead to death.

Presenting at the RHHRF Grants Launch and Foundation Partners’ evening in February, Dean shared with guests the fact that there is a greater prevalence of high blood pressure and heart disease in Tasmania. 

We will continue to keep you up-to-date as Dr Dean Picone and his team undertake this vital local study.