Wireless Wearable Photoplethysmography Sensors for Continuous Blood Pressure Monitoring

Yiyuan Zhang1, Melissa Berthelot1, Benny Lo1

  • 1Imperial College London
Also at:
15:30 - 16:30 | Wednesday 26 October 2016 | Main Auditorium



Contributed Papers (Poster)


08:30 - 19:30 | Wed 26 Oct | Auditorium Foyer | WePOS

Poster Session

15:30 - 16:30 | Wed 26 Oct | Main Auditorium | IS-1

Ignite Session 1


Blood Pressure (BP) is a crucial vital sign taken into consideration for the general assessment of patient's con- dition: patients with hypertension or hypotension are advised to record their BP routinely. Particularly, hypertension is emphasized by stress, diabetic neuropathy and coronary heart diseases and could lead to stroke. Therefore, routine and long-term monitoring can enable early detection of symptoms and prevent life-threatening events. The gold standard method for measuring BP is the use of a stethoscope and sphygmo- manometer to detect systolic and diastolic pressures. However, only discrete measurements are taken. To enable pervasive and continuous monitoring of BP, recent methods have been proposed: pulse arrival time (PAT) or PAT difference (PATD) between different body parts are based on the combination of electrocardiogram (ECG) and photoplethysmography (PPG) sensors. Nevertheless, this technique could be quite obtrusive as in addition to at least two contacts/electrodes to measure the differential voltage across the left arm/leg/chest and the right arm/leg/chest, ECG measurements are easily corrupted by motion artefacts. Although such devices are small, wearable and relatively convenient to use, most devices are not designed for continuous BP measurements. This paper introduces a novel PPG-based pervasive sensing platform for continuous measurements of BP. Based on the principle of using PAT to estimate BP, two PPG sensors are used to measure the PATD between the earlobe and the wrist to measure BP. The device is compared with a gold standard PPG sensor and validation of the concept is conducted with a preliminary study involving 9 healthy subjects. Results show that the mean BP and PATD are correlated with a 0.3 factor. This preliminary study shows the feasibility of continuous monitoring of BP using a pair of PPG placed on the ear lobe and wrist with PATD measurements is possible.

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