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Wearable Blood Pressure Monitor
Team Members: Adrian Yabut, Andrew Luo, Jordan Van Wyk, Nathan Duarte
School: University of Waterloo (Team A)
Hypertension, defined as having a systolic blood pressure (SBP) above 130 mmHg or a diastolic blood pressure (DBP) above 80 mmHg, is a global issue . Worldwide, it affects over 1 billion people and contributes to over 7.5 million cardiovascular-related deaths annually .
To help hypertensive patients better understand and manage their condition, we formed Pascal Labs at the University of Waterloo. Our members are building a wearable blood pressure monitor to this end.
Traditional cuff-based blood pressure monitors are bulky, uncomfortable, and cannot take measurements throughout the day. In response, companies have tried to develop wearables capable of measuring blood pressure, but these devices face various issues including high costs and a lack of clinical accuracy –.
We aim to address issues with existing blood pressure measurement systems by analyzing the transit time and morphology of pulse waveforms. We collect these signals by integrating two low-cost, low-footprint optical sensors into a sleek wearable form factor. Pulse transit time (PTT) is an established correlate of blood pressure, but frequent calibration is required to use it for estimation . To circumvent this and ensure our product is convenient for users, we simultaneously analyze pulse morphology using a technique called pulse wave analysis –. By extracting features which describe a pulse’s shape and analyzing them using trained machine learning models, it is possible to predict blood pressure with far less calibration. Altogether, by combining analysis of PTT and morphology, enabled by our innovative hardware design, our wearable device will be able to take clinically relevant blood pressure measurements and improve hypertension management.
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