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Approved Research

Long-term stability and acceptance rate of an algorithm for the non-invasive estimation of blood pressure based on photoplethysmographic (PPG) signals in a large dataset

Principal Investigator: Dr Fabian Braun
Approved Research ID: 96632
Approval date: February 16th 2023

Lay summary

One in three adults is affected by hypertension (chronically high blood pressure) and should have their blood pressure checked regularly. Currently blood pressure is measured with an inflatable cuff at the arm, which has known limitations (discomfort/pain, intermittent monitoring, etc.) and does not offer a complete picture of the true 24-hour and day-to-day blood pressure profile of the patient. The goal of the present project is to test in a large population an already-developed software for measuring blood pressure in a more comfortable way by simply analyzing optical signals such as those that are typically used by smartwatches to measure the heart rate. This software has already been successfully tested in several use cases. However, using the UK Biobank data will allow testing this software on a very large number of patients, and with repeated measurements per patient over time. If successful, the new approach of measuring blood pressure would make life much easier for patients suffering from or suspected of hypertension as they would not need to use an uncomfortable inflatable cuff at the arm and could measure their blood pressure regularly during daily life, typically using wearables such as a smartwatch or an armband.