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Posted on November 14, 2018 by  & 

Could wearables monitor blood pressure?

A lab simulation model of an artificial artery demonstrates pulse wave velocity (PWV) is a feasible measurement for monitoring blood pressure. Wearable patches show promise for measuring PWV, making them a potentially inexpensive blood-pressure monitoring option. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Electronic Skin Patches 2018-2028.
An easy, cost-effective way to monitor blood pressure could significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, as only half of the people diagnosed with high blood pressure in the United States have their condition under control.
The study, "Relation between blood pressure and pulse wave velocity for human arteries," was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers demonstrated that pulse wave velocity, how quickly the impulse or force of blood moving away from the heart moves down the arteries, shows promise as a measurement to monitor blood pressure levels. Continuous, cuffless and non-invasive blood pressure monitoring, determined by measuring the pulse wave velocity, of PWV, is a promising technique for non-invasive measurements, the researchers wrote.
Marvin J. Slepian, M.D., a cardiologist at the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center, participated in the collaborative study with investigators Yonggang Huang and John Rogers, both of Northwestern University.
Until now, the co-authors wrote, the relationship between blood pressure and PWV was based on unrealistic assumptions that rely on observations rather than physical properties and have not been replicated in human arteries. They went on to describe an analytical model that yielded a measurable relationship between blood pressure and PWV. This model may be used in future work to develop continuous, cuffless and non-invasive blood pressure monitoring.
The research team used a "wet" physical simulation model capable of generating a pulse using the total artificial heart in the Slepian Lab at the UA Sarver Heart Center and measured pressures in artificial arteries designed for this research.
The Slepian Lab has studied various forms and uses for wearable patches able to measure a range of parameters, such as movement and sweat. In addition to his work at the Sarver Heart Center, Slepian is associate department head of biomedical engineering in the UA College of Engineering and professor of materials science and engineering, medical imaging, and medicine, as well as director of the Arizona Center for Accelerated Biomedical Innovation at the UA.
"This new research provides insight into the measurements that will be useful in the design of new wearable patches, which then will provide a useful, inexpensive option for monitoring patients who need to track their blood pressure for a period of time," Slepian said.
Source and top image: University of Arizona
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