Monday, 19 August, 2019

Blood pressure monitoring could become as easy as taking a video selfie

Video Selfies Can Be Used to Measure Blood Pressure Study New technology is designed to measure blood pressure through smartphone-captured facial videos
Anna Jefferson | 09 August, 2019, 09:42

"If future studies could confirm this exciting result in hypertensive patients and with video camera measurements made during daily life, then obtaining blood pressure information with a click of a camera may become reality".

In a new study, researchers at the University of Toronto figured out a way to accurately measure blood pressure with your cellphone's camera by developing a technology known as transdermal optical imaging (TOI).

The light penetrates the outer layer of their skin, which allows digital optical sensors in smartphones to visualize and extract blood flow patterns, according to the study.

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High blood pressure can be a warning sign of a heart attack or stroke, but half of those with hypertension don't know it. He was using transdermal optical imaging to try to develop a way of telling when kids were lying by correlating blood flow to areas of the face with fibbing.

Lee and a co-author disclosed relevant relationships with Transdermal Optical Imaging. The result showed that the video prediction of systolic blood pressure (upper number) was 95% accurate.

Psychologist Kang Lee explained that a smartphone takes around 900 images in 30 seconds to record the blood pressure. The prediction of diastolic pressure (the bottom number) was almost 96% accurate.

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The light will then detect proteins as it bounces off your skin, which can be used to measure blood pressure.

The report was published August 6 in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging.

But several problems need to be solved before this technique is ready for primetime, Lee said.

The experts, who are now looking to reduce the length of the necessary video from two minutes to 30 seconds, say that if follow-up studies can confirm these results, obtaining blood pressure information with the click of a camera will be a non-contact, noninvasive method to use anytime, anywhere. Even the samples that were taken for the trial lacked variety as none of the subjects had extreme skin tones. "We cannot only use it for social networking, it can actually help you become aware of your physiological state".

Although privacy concerns would have to be addressed, "such rich information in facial video may render this video camera approach to be more promising for BP measurement than a contact measurement of the finger [photo-plethysmography] waveform", Mukkamala stated.

"There's no physics theory behind it", said Mukkamala, a cardiovascular researcher who wrote an accompanying editorial. "These include different skin shades, different room temperatures and different lighting".

Nearly half of Americans suffer from high blood pressure, some unwittingly, the heart health organization said - meaning the innovation could make a big impact.

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