Cardiovascular disease

Working group for technical specifications for blood pressure measuring devices

Recommendations and technical specifications for a blood pressure measuring device in low resource settings were developed in WHO Affordable Technology BP Device at Low Resource (2005). Since then, countries are in different stages of phasing out mercury blood pressure device due to the toxicity of mercury and observer bias, by replacing automated devices. Practical issues are now raised in LMIC countries, in terms of criteria choosing automated BP device in different settings, accuracy, cuff size, calibration and validation protocols, and training.

There was also an urgent need to update the WHO guidance and develop specifications to reflect the latest technology improvement, standards and build consensus to shape the global market with quality medical device.

Given this context, the Management of Noncommunicable Diseases team (MND) at WHO HQ in collaboration with Innovation, Access and Use (IAU) team at WHO HQ, has initiated the work to update the WHO guidance and develop the technical specifications for blood pressure measuring devices.

The goals and objectives of the working group are presented below:

  • discuss and form consensus on the key recommendations and evidence;
  • finalize working document;
  • plan on implementation, training and capacity support to LMICs.


  • to assess the evidence on and agree on thresholds for pharmacological management of hypertensions
  • to assess the evidence for, and agree on, appropriate pharmacological management of hypertension


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List of participants and biographies


  • Dr Mohammad Ameel
    Senior Consultant & In-charge, Healthcare technology Division, National Health Systems Resource Centre, India
  • Dr Tammy M. Brady
    Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Medical Director of the Pediatric Hypertension Program, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, USA
  • Dr Norm Campbell
    General Internist, a Professor of Medicine, Community Health Sciences and Physiology and Pharmacology and a member of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta and O’Brien Institute of Public Health, University of Calgary, Australia
  • Dr Margaret Farrell
    Senior Program Officer, Resolve to Save Lives, USA
  • Dr Marc G. Jaffe
    Senior Vice President, Cardiovascular Health Initiative, Resolve to Save Lives, an Initiative of Vital Strategies, USA
  • Dr Oommen John
    Institutional affiliation(s), The George Institute for Global Health India, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, Asia Pacific Association for Medical Informatics
  • Laura Patricia López Meneses
    Biomedical Engineer Consultant, Mexico
  • Mulugeta Mideksa
    Technical Advisor, Medical Equipment and Facility Management, Medical Service Directorate, Federal Ministry of Health, Ethiopia
  • Professor Aletta E Schutte
    Professor, North-West University / South African Medical Research Council / International Society of Hypertension, South Africa
  • Dr Laura Alejandra Velez
    Consultant, World Health Organization, Switzerland