Cuff-less Blood Pressure Meter Linked to Smartphone

2013/11/21 14:12
Takuya Otani, Nikkei Electronics & Digital Health Online
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Nihon University developed a small blood pressure meter that can be linked to a smartphone.

It was developed by adding the Bluetooth 4.0 wireless transmission function to a cuff-less blood pressure meter that enables to measure blood pressure just by touching it with a finger. The meter has been developed by Sadao Omata, professor at the Worldwide Research Center for Advanced Engineering & Technology, the College of Engineering, Nihon University. It will be exhibited at Medica 2013, which runs from Nov 20 to 23, 2013, in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Data measured with the meter can be displayed on a smartphone screen by using an Android application. It shows maximum and minimum (systolic and diastolic) blood pressures (both average and real-time values), pulse rate and pulse wave (waveform).

The cuff-less blood pressure meter was also exhibited at Medica 2012 and attracted a great deal of attention from visitors (See related article). It uses photo transistors to detect LED light reflected on a finger. And it converts pulse wave data obtained from the light to a blood pressure value.

In this process, the "Phase Shift Method" technology developed by Omata is used. Though the details of the technology have not been disclosed yet, he said, "The Phase Shift Method drastically increases S/N ratio, making it possible to obtain a pulse wave with an extremely high accuracy. That's why the conversion to a blood pressure value becomes possible."

This time, the cuff-less blood pressure meter comes with Bluetooth 4.0 wireless capability and can be linked to a smartphone. Also, its size was reduced by integrating core components such as for the Phase Shift Method-based data processing and algorithm for the conversion to a blood pressure value into one chip. Except for the chip, the components of the meter including LEDs, photo transistors and Bluetooth 4.0 module are commercially available products.

Omata plans to start selling the chip in May or June 2014 in cooperation with partners. He exhibited the blood pressure meter at Medica 2013 in the aim of finding firms, etc that are interested in purchasing the meter. Considering that the cuff-less blood pressure meter will shortly enter the commercialization phase, he said, "We will shift our focus to the next research and development such as of non-invasive blood glucose measurement technologies."