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Standards Spotlight

Views of Real-World Impact

ANSI shines a spotlight on Standards in action as they support safety, efficiency and well-being in interesting aspects of everyday life.

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During American Heart Month, Recognizing Standards that Support Your Health


February is American Heart Month, an initiative to get everyone excited about heart health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. New technologies have emerged in the past few years that allow us to track our own heart health right at home. Whether inside or outside a doctor’s office, standards help support the path to a healthy heart.

If high blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease, finding a way to consistently and accurately measure blood pressure is a great place to start your heart health journey. Luckily, many pharmacies sell inexpensive home blood pressure machines called sphygmomanometers. ANSI/AAMI/ISO 81060-1:2007 (R2013), Non-Invasive Sphygmomanometers - Part 1: Requirements And Test Methods For Non-Automated Measurement Type, specifies requirements for non-automated sphygmomanometers which, by means of inflatable cuffs, are used for the non-invasive blood pressure measurement by operator observation. This standard was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 121, Anaesthetic and respiratory equipment, Subcommittee (SC) 3, Breathing attachments and anaesthetic machines. The U.S. plays a leading role in this subcommittee, holding the Secretariat position. The U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to TC 121 SC 3 is the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer.

Blood pressure can also be measured by new, wearable technologies, making the process of measuring blood pressure automatic and seamless. IEEE 1708-2014, IEEE Standard For Wearable Cuffless Blood Pressure Measuring Devices, establishes a normative definition of wearable cuffless blood pressure (BP) measuring devices and the objective performance evaluation of this kind of device. This standard was developed by Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a member and ANSI-accredited standards developer.

Speaking of wearable technology, an easy way to track your heart health is through a wearable fitness tracker. Nowadays, wearable fitness trackers can track so many different metrics, such as pulse and blood oxygen levels. If you’re trying to get your activity levels up to get your heart pumping, most wearable fitness trackers at the very least count your steps. CTA 2056-2016 (ANSI), Physical Activity Monitoring For Fitness Wearables: Step Counting, is an American National Standard (ANS) that creates definitions and performance criteria for measuring step counting on consumer wearable or app-based Physical Activity Monitoring Devices. It was developed by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), a member and ANSI-accredited standards developer.

February is an apt month for American Heart Month, as it’s also the month of Valentines’ Day. Before you go giving your heart away, take steps towards your own heart health. Standards are there to cheer you on!