London: British researchers have devised a new wristwatch-like tool that could help measure your blood pressure with more accuracy than the traditional arm cuffs.

The wristwatch would enable the doctors to easily pinpoint those at risk of heart attacks and strokes, said the experts behind the gadget.

High BP, which claims thousands of lives every year worldwide, is often termed to be ‘the silent killer’ as it remains symptomless until it is too late.

Researchers, who have tested the wristwatch and developed it with funding from the Department of Health, said they found it comfortable to wear.

Professor Bryan Williams of Leicester University, who tested the wristwatch with scientists from Singapore, said, "It has been a fabulous scientific adventure to get to this point and it will change the way blood pressure has been monitored for more than a century.”

The 100-pound device is likely to be available within two to three years, said Williams, adding: “Versions for home use are also expected.”

The traditional arm cuffs used by doctors for measuring flow of blood pressure through the upper arm, doesn't always tally with what is going on in the larger arteries close to the heart and brain.

This can lead to false positive readings, which leads to patients being given pills unnecessarily, and false negatives, in which warning signs are missed.

But the new device combines the blood pressure reading from the upper arm with data from a sensor placed over the pulse in the wrist.

This gives a reading that more accurately matches what is going on near the heart. However, experts at the British Heart Foundation said further research is needed before we can be certain of its superiority in the doctor's surgery.

(With Agency Inputs)