Technology to measure blood pressure using video selfie developed

  • Technology to measure blood pressure using video selfie developed

Technology to measure blood pressure using video selfie developed

People in the study all had normal blood pressure.

Researchers from the University of Toronto measured the blood flow of 1,328 Canadian and Chinese adults by capturing two-minute videos using iPhones equipped with transdermal optical imaging software. The device then uses advanced machine learning to determine blood pressure from the captured signal.

Lee is research chair of developmental neuroscience at the University of Toronto.

In what seem to be a good news for people who have blood pressure (BP) problems, scientists are close to devloping a technology to monitor BP with the help of video selfies.

'Cuff-based blood pressure measuring devices, while highly accurate, are inconvenient and uncomfortable.

So how does it work?

The technology works by picking up light reflected from blood vessels behind the skin in the face and using that to measure blood flow.

"Once you know how blood concentration changes in different parts of your face, then we can learn a lot of things about your physiology, such as your heart rate, your stress and your blood pressure", he said.

Acquiring blood pressure reading can now be done in a simple way.

The discovery was a result of an accident, Lee was trying to use transdermal optic imaging to develop a way of telling when kids are lying by correlating blood flow to areas of the face with fibbing.

"Future work will determine whether these models meet the clinically accepted accuracy threshold of 5±8 mm Hg when tested on a full range of blood pressures according to worldwide accuracy standards", they stated.

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

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

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.

And the software has not been tested on people with very dark or very light skin, Dr Lee said, although it has worked on people with "a variety of skin tones".

"Smartphones are really smart", Lee said.

But one specialist is skeptical that this system could ever be widely used.

Dr Ramakrishna Mukkamala, from Michigan State University, added: 'If future studies could confirm this exciting result in [high blood pressure] patients and with video camera measurements made during daily life, then obtaining blood pressure information with a click of a camera may become reality'.

Mukkamala said, however, that it's doubtful that facial video can yield specific information about blood pressure.