EBP: An Ear-Worn Device for Frequent and Comfortable Blood Pressure Monitoring

Nam Bui, Nhat Pham, Jessica Jacqueline Barnitz, Zhanan Zou, Phuc Nguyen, Hoang Truong, Taeho Kim, Nicholas Farrow, Anh Nguyen, Jianliang Xiao, Robin Deterding, Thang DInh, Tam Vu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Frequent blood pressure monitoring is the key to diagnosis and treatments of many severe diseases. However, the conventional ambulatory methods require patients to carry a blood pressure (BP) monitoring device for 24 h and conduct the measurement every 10 - 15 min. Despite their extensive usage, wearing the wrist/arm-based BP monitoring device for a long time has a significant impact on users' daily activities. To address the problem, we developed eBP to measure blood pressure (BP) from inside user's ear aiming to minimize the measurement's impact on users' normal activities although maximizing its comfort level. The key novelty of eBP includes (1) a light-based inflatable pulse sensor which goes inside the ear, (2) a digital air pump with a fine controller, and (3) BP estimation algorithms that eliminate the need of blocking the blood flow inside the ear. Through the comparative study of 35 subjects, eBP can achieve the average error of 1.8 mmHg for systolic (high-pressure value) and -3.1 mmHg for diastolic (low-pressure value) with the standard deviation error of 7.2 mmHg and 7.9 mmHg, respectively. These results satisfy the FDA's AAMI standard, which requires a mean error of less than 5 mmHg and a standard deviation of less than 8 mmHg.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-125
Number of pages8
JournalCommunications of the ACM
Volume64
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2021

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