The current non-invasive gold standard for the measurement of blood pressure (BP) is the oscillometric cuff at the upper arm, despite its known limitations. In particular, its poor adequacy with continuous monitoring and its measurement incommodity call for the development of simpler and more convenient solutions. Among these, solutions based on pulse wave analysis (PWA) and photoplethysmography (PPG) are of particular interest, due to their low-cost, strong patient compliance, and applicability in and out of clinical settings. In that context, we have recently disclosed a PPG-based PWA algorithm (oBPMTM) dedicated to the continuous monitoring of BP in patients undergoing induction of general anesthesia. As is standard with PPG-based BP monitoring techniques, an initial calibration procedure with a reference device is required to allow the estimation of absolute values of BP (in mmHg). However, due to their sensitivity to peripheral effects such as vasomotion, the applicability of PPG-based techniques is often limited by the constant need of re-calibration procedures, sometimes in matters of minutes. In the present study, we evaluated the long-term stability of the calibration for our algorithm by performing PPG measurements at irregular time intervals over a period of 3 months in 13 healthy volunteers. For each measurement, diastolic BP (DBP) was assessed by an oscillometric device and estimated by the oBPMTM algorithm. We found the calibration to remain stable over the entire 3month period, with estimation errors remaining stable over time and complying with the ISO 81060-2:2018 standard. In addition, we verified – in 11 of our 13 subjects – the sensitivity of the oBPMTM algorithm to changes in DBP. This was done in a protocol involving static leg extension exercises. Excellent trending ability (average per-subject concordance rate of 97.7 ? 5.2 %, and correlation coefficient of 0.98 ? 0.02, p < 0.001) was found between cuff-derived DBP changes and our estimates. These findings provide a strong added value to the practical usability of the proposed PPG-based PWA approach to BP monitoring, particularly for the clinical management of hypertensive patients in and out of clinics, for whom a simple and comfortable continuous alternative to the oscillometric cuff would be strongly preferred.
2019 41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society (EMBC), Berlin (Germany), pp. 5560-5563