Skip to content

Super Low-cost Smartphone Attachment Brings Blood Pressure Monitoring to Your Fingertips

Super Low-cost Smartphone Attachment Brings Blood Pressure Monitoring to Your Fingertips

Super Low-cost Smartphone Attachment Brings Blood Pressure Monitoring to Your Fingertips

Super Low-cost Smartphone Attachment Brings Blood Pressure Monitoring to Your Fingertips

Two hands hold a black smartphone against a white background.

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a simple, low-cost clip that uses a smartphone’s camera and flash to monitor blood pressure at the user’s fingertip. The clip works with a custom smartphone app and currently costs about 80 cents to make. The researchers estimate that the cost could be as low as 10 cents apiece when manufactured at scale.

The technology was published May 29 in Scientific Reports.

Researchers say it could help make regular blood pressure monitoring easy, affordable and accessible to people in resource-poor communities. It could benefit older adults and pregnant women, for example, in managing conditions such as hypertension.

“We’ve created an inexpensive solution to lower the barrier to blood pressure monitoring,” said study first author Yinan (Tom) Xuan, an electrical and computer engineering Ph.D. student at UC San Diego.

Man in a light gray sweater sits at a desk while holding a smartphone.
Edward Wang

“Because of their low cost, these clips could be handed out to anyone who needs them but cannot go to a clinic regularly,” said study senior author Edward Wang, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at UC San Diego and director of the Digital Health Lab. “A blood pressure monitoring clip could be given to you at your checkup, much like how you get a pack of floss and toothbrush at your dental visit.”

Another key advantage of the clip is that it does not need to be calibrated to a cuff.

“This is what distinguishes our device from other blood pressure monitors,” said Wang. Other cuffless systems being developed for smartwatches and smartphones, he explained, require obtaining a separate set of measurements with a cuff so that their models can be tuned to fit these measurements.

“Our is a calibration-free system, meaning you can just use our device without touching another blood pressure monitor to get a trustworthy blood pressure reading.”

To measure blood pressure, the user simply presses on the clip with a fingertip. A custom smartphone app guides the user on how hard and long to press during the measurement.

Black smartphone with a black plastic clip attached to one corner.

The clip is a 3D-printed plastic attachment that fits over a smartphone’s camera and flash. It features an optical design similar to that of a pinhole camera. When the user presses on the clip, the smartphone’s flash lights up the fingertip. That light is then projected through a pinhole-sized channel to the camera as an image of a red circle. A spring inside the clip allows the user to press with different levels of force. The harder the user presses, the bigger the red circle appears on the camera.

The smartphone app extracts two main pieces of information from the red circle. By looking at the size of the circle, the app can measure the amount of pressure that the user’s fingertip applies. And by looking at the brightness of the circle, the app can measure the volume of blood going in and out of the fingertip. An algorithm converts this information into systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings.

Two hands hold a black smartphone against a white background.
A custom smartphone app guides the user on how hard and long to press during a blood pressure measurement.

The researchers tested the clip on 24 volunteers from the UC San Diego Medical Center. Results were comparable to those taken by a blood pressure cuff.

“Using a standard blood pressure cuff can be awkward to put on correctly, and this solution has the potential to make it easier for older adults to self-monitor blood pressure,” said study co-author and medical collaborator Alison Moore, chief of the Division of Geriatrics in the Department of Medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

While the team has only proven the solution on a single smartphone model, the clip’s current design theoretically should work on other phone models, said Xuan.

Wang and one of his lab members, Colin Barry, a co-author on the paper who is an electrical and computer engineering student at UC San Diego, co-founded a company, Billion Labs Inc., to refine and commercialize the technology.

Next steps include making the technology more user friendly, especially for older adults; testing its accuracy across different skin tones; and creating a more universal design.

Paper: “Ultra-low-cost Mechanical Smartphone Attachment for No-Calibration Blood Pressure Measurement.” Co-authors include Jessica De Souza, Jessica Wen and Nick Antipa, all at UC San Diego.

This work is supported by MassAITC (a program funded by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health under award number P30AG073107), the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute Galvanizing Engineering in Medicine (GEM) Awards, and a Google Research Scholar Award.

Disclosures: Edward Wang and Colin Barry are co-founders of and have a financial interest in Billion Labs Inc. Wang is also the CEO of Billion Labs Inc. The other authors declare that they have no competing interests. The terms of this arrangement have been reviewed and approved by the University of California San Diego in accordance with its conflict-of-interest policies.

 

As retrieved: https://today.ucsd.edu/story/super-low-cost-smartphone-attachment-brings-blood-pressure-monitoring-to-your-fingertips

Super Low-cost Smartphone Attachment Brings Blood Pressure Monitoring to Your Fingertips

Two hands hold a black smartphone against a white background.

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a simple, low-cost clip that uses a smartphone’s camera and flash to monitor blood pressure at the user’s fingertip. The clip works with a custom smartphone app and currently costs about 80 cents to make. The researchers estimate that the cost could be as low as 10 cents apiece when manufactured at scale.

The technology was published May 29 in Scientific Reports.

Researchers say it could help make regular blood pressure monitoring easy, affordable and accessible to people in resource-poor communities. It could benefit older adults and pregnant women, for example, in managing conditions such as hypertension.

“We’ve created an inexpensive solution to lower the barrier to blood pressure monitoring,” said study first author Yinan (Tom) Xuan, an electrical and computer engineering Ph.D. student at UC San Diego.

Man in a light gray sweater sits at a desk while holding a smartphone.
Edward Wang

“Because of their low cost, these clips could be handed out to anyone who needs them but cannot go to a clinic regularly,” said study senior author Edward Wang, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at UC San Diego and director of the Digital Health Lab. “A blood pressure monitoring clip could be given to you at your checkup, much like how you get a pack of floss and toothbrush at your dental visit.”

Another key advantage of the clip is that it does not need to be calibrated to a cuff.

“This is what distinguishes our device from other blood pressure monitors,” said Wang. Other cuffless systems being developed for smartwatches and smartphones, he explained, require obtaining a separate set of measurements with a cuff so that their models can be tuned to fit these measurements.

“Our is a calibration-free system, meaning you can just use our device without touching another blood pressure monitor to get a trustworthy blood pressure reading.”

To measure blood pressure, the user simply presses on the clip with a fingertip. A custom smartphone app guides the user on how hard and long to press during the measurement.

Black smartphone with a black plastic clip attached to one corner.

The clip is a 3D-printed plastic attachment that fits over a smartphone’s camera and flash. It features an optical design similar to that of a pinhole camera. When the user presses on the clip, the smartphone’s flash lights up the fingertip. That light is then projected through a pinhole-sized channel to the camera as an image of a red circle. A spring inside the clip allows the user to press with different levels of force. The harder the user presses, the bigger the red circle appears on the camera.

The smartphone app extracts two main pieces of information from the red circle. By looking at the size of the circle, the app can measure the amount of pressure that the user’s fingertip applies. And by looking at the brightness of the circle, the app can measure the volume of blood going in and out of the fingertip. An algorithm converts this information into systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings.

Two hands hold a black smartphone against a white background.
A custom smartphone app guides the user on how hard and long to press during a blood pressure measurement.

The researchers tested the clip on 24 volunteers from the UC San Diego Medical Center. Results were comparable to those taken by a blood pressure cuff.

“Using a standard blood pressure cuff can be awkward to put on correctly, and this solution has the potential to make it easier for older adults to self-monitor blood pressure,” said study co-author and medical collaborator Alison Moore, chief of the Division of Geriatrics in the Department of Medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

While the team has only proven the solution on a single smartphone model, the clip’s current design theoretically should work on other phone models, said Xuan.

Wang and one of his lab members, Colin Barry, a co-author on the paper who is an electrical and computer engineering student at UC San Diego, co-founded a company, Billion Labs Inc., to refine and commercialize the technology.

Next steps include making the technology more user friendly, especially for older adults; testing its accuracy across different skin tones; and creating a more universal design.

Paper: “Ultra-low-cost Mechanical Smartphone Attachment for No-Calibration Blood Pressure Measurement.” Co-authors include Jessica De Souza, Jessica Wen and Nick Antipa, all at UC San Diego.

This work is supported by MassAITC (a program funded by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health under award number P30AG073107), the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute Galvanizing Engineering in Medicine (GEM) Awards, and a Google Research Scholar Award.

Disclosures: Edward Wang and Colin Barry are co-founders of and have a financial interest in Billion Labs Inc. Wang is also the CEO of Billion Labs Inc. The other authors declare that they have no competing interests. The terms of this arrangement have been reviewed and approved by the University of California San Diego in accordance with its conflict-of-interest policies.

 

As retrieved: https://today.ucsd.edu/story/super-low-cost-smartphone-attachment-brings-blood-pressure-monitoring-to-your-fingertips

Super Low-cost Smartphone Attachment Brings Blood Pressure Monitoring to Your Fingertips

Two hands hold a black smartphone against a white background.

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a simple, low-cost clip that uses a smartphone’s camera and flash to monitor blood pressure at the user’s fingertip. The clip works with a custom smartphone app and currently costs about 80 cents to make. The researchers estimate that the cost could be as low as 10 cents apiece when manufactured at scale.

The technology was published May 29 in Scientific Reports.

Researchers say it could help make regular blood pressure monitoring easy, affordable and accessible to people in resource-poor communities. It could benefit older adults and pregnant women, for example, in managing conditions such as hypertension.

“We’ve created an inexpensive solution to lower the barrier to blood pressure monitoring,” said study first author Yinan (Tom) Xuan, an electrical and computer engineering Ph.D. student at UC San Diego.

Man in a light gray sweater sits at a desk while holding a smartphone.
Edward Wang

“Because of their low cost, these clips could be handed out to anyone who needs them but cannot go to a clinic regularly,” said study senior author Edward Wang, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at UC San Diego and director of the Digital Health Lab. “A blood pressure monitoring clip could be given to you at your checkup, much like how you get a pack of floss and toothbrush at your dental visit.”

Another key advantage of the clip is that it does not need to be calibrated to a cuff.

“This is what distinguishes our device from other blood pressure monitors,” said Wang. Other cuffless systems being developed for smartwatches and smartphones, he explained, require obtaining a separate set of measurements with a cuff so that their models can be tuned to fit these measurements.

“Our is a calibration-free system, meaning you can just use our device without touching another blood pressure monitor to get a trustworthy blood pressure reading.”

To measure blood pressure, the user simply presses on the clip with a fingertip. A custom smartphone app guides the user on how hard and long to press during the measurement.

Black smartphone with a black plastic clip attached to one corner.

The clip is a 3D-printed plastic attachment that fits over a smartphone’s camera and flash. It features an optical design similar to that of a pinhole camera. When the user presses on the clip, the smartphone’s flash lights up the fingertip. That light is then projected through a pinhole-sized channel to the camera as an image of a red circle. A spring inside the clip allows the user to press with different levels of force. The harder the user presses, the bigger the red circle appears on the camera.

The smartphone app extracts two main pieces of information from the red circle. By looking at the size of the circle, the app can measure the amount of pressure that the user’s fingertip applies. And by looking at the brightness of the circle, the app can measure the volume of blood going in and out of the fingertip. An algorithm converts this information into systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings.

Two hands hold a black smartphone against a white background.
A custom smartphone app guides the user on how hard and long to press during a blood pressure measurement.

The researchers tested the clip on 24 volunteers from the UC San Diego Medical Center. Results were comparable to those taken by a blood pressure cuff.

“Using a standard blood pressure cuff can be awkward to put on correctly, and this solution has the potential to make it easier for older adults to self-monitor blood pressure,” said study co-author and medical collaborator Alison Moore, chief of the Division of Geriatrics in the Department of Medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

While the team has only proven the solution on a single smartphone model, the clip’s current design theoretically should work on other phone models, said Xuan.

Wang and one of his lab members, Colin Barry, a co-author on the paper who is an electrical and computer engineering student at UC San Diego, co-founded a company, Billion Labs Inc., to refine and commercialize the technology.

Next steps include making the technology more user friendly, especially for older adults; testing its accuracy across different skin tones; and creating a more universal design.

Paper: “Ultra-low-cost Mechanical Smartphone Attachment for No-Calibration Blood Pressure Measurement.” Co-authors include Jessica De Souza, Jessica Wen and Nick Antipa, all at UC San Diego.

This work is supported by MassAITC (a program funded by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health under award number P30AG073107), the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute Galvanizing Engineering in Medicine (GEM) Awards, and a Google Research Scholar Award.

Disclosures: Edward Wang and Colin Barry are co-founders of and have a financial interest in Billion Labs Inc. Wang is also the CEO of Billion Labs Inc. The other authors declare that they have no competing interests. The terms of this arrangement have been reviewed and approved by the University of California San Diego in accordance with its conflict-of-interest policies.

 

As retrieved: https://today.ucsd.edu/story/super-low-cost-smartphone-attachment-brings-blood-pressure-monitoring-to-your-fingertips

Read Next

Designathon

Designing UC San Diego’s New Trolley Stop | Pepper Canyon Mobility Hub Designathon Video

Watch the 14-minute Pepper Canyon Mobility Hub Designathon Video

Over 250 UC San Diego students, neighbors, and future transit users gathered on April 6-7, 2019 for the first-ever Designathon: an intensive, immersive event where interdisciplinary teams design solutions for real-world challenges. This Designathon focused on the Pepper Canyon Station, which aspires to be an ecologically, socially, and technologically friendly mobility hub on the UCSD campus, set to open in 2020.

Executive Producer: Michele Morris
Producers & Directors: Stephanie Sherman, Ash Eliza Smith, Ian Strelsky
Camera Operators: Clint Evangelista, Qiyi Fan, Alice Medrano, Steven Phung, Yimeng Sun
Editors: Steven Phung, Yimeng Sun
Story Consultant: Griffin Middelson
Animators: Weilun Yao, Lilly Gee
Sound Designers: Steven Phung
Music Composers: Remy Rose, Riain Hager, Forrest Reid
Don Norman Emphatic Design

Why I Don’t Believe in Empathic Design

Human-centered design pioneer Don Norman, who coined the term ‘user experience,’ explains why he’s not convinced by the current obsession with empathy and what we should do instead.

I approve of the spirit behind the introduction of empathy into design, but I believe the concept is impossible, and even if possible, wrong. The reason we often talk about empathy in design is that we really need to understand the people that we’re working for. The idea is that, essentially, you’re in a person’s head and understand how they feel and what they think.
How I Talked To My Daughter About Body Image

How I talked to my daughter-and myself-about body image

Design Lab member Shannon Master recently had her article published in TIME magazine's special edition on weight loss! Her work can be found on shelves across the nation from April 12 - July 12.

Below is an excerpt from Shannon's essay Does this mean I'm a real writer? where she discusses the article for TIME magazine.

"How I talked to my daughter-and myself-about body image...tackles important social issues surrounding body-image for young girls, their mothers, and women at large. It offers research on how mothers can not only help stop the cycle of negative body image in their young daughters, but also how moms as women themselves can work to improve their own body-image. I was surprised that the editors changed very little, except for the title, which is amazing considering this thing magically ejected itself out of me in a matter of days, rather than the weeks and months I can work on something that never sees the light of day. It looks pretty spiffy in its new home, complete with updated statistics and accompanying photos across an eight-page spread; eight pages of my words about how we can reframe our own body images as mothers, in order to help our girls have everything we never had—confidence and self-esteem with an unwavering sense of worth—in a frickn’ national publication."

Read more at shannonmaster.com
Ucsd Design Lab Biometric

Researchers Develop Biometric Tool for Newborn Fingerprinting

Researchers at the University of California San Diego say they have dramatically advanced the science…

Design-A-Thon: Mindshifts on Megafires

During fire season, it has become the norm to see front-page images of apocalyptic wildfires. A century of suppressing wildfires has created a dangerous accumulation of flammable vegetation on landscapes, contributing to megafires that risk human life and property and destroy ecosystems.

The Design-A-Thon brings together UC San Diego students from all disciplines and experience levels in a pitch-style competition to apply the Design Thinking process to proactive solutions to end destructive wildfires. All participants will be invited to present their submissions on April 20 after the Design@Large panel on Climate Risk Reduction and Technology.

Key dates and events:
-April 7 @ 4 PM - Design Challenge unveiled at kickoff
-April 15 - Registration & design-thinking workshop, lightning talks, and mentor sessions
-April 16 @ 11:59 PM - Submissions due
-April 20 @ 5 PM - Project showcase at Design@Large
Designathon

Designing UC San Diego’s New Trolley Stop | Pepper Canyon Mobility Hub Designathon Video

Watch the 14-minute Pepper Canyon Mobility Hub Designathon Video

Over 250 UC San Diego students, neighbors, and future transit users gathered on April 6-7, 2019 for the first-ever Designathon: an intensive, immersive event where interdisciplinary teams design solutions for real-world challenges. This Designathon focused on the Pepper Canyon Station, which aspires to be an ecologically, socially, and technologically friendly mobility hub on the UCSD campus, set to open in 2020.

Executive Producer: Michele Morris
Producers & Directors: Stephanie Sherman, Ash Eliza Smith, Ian Strelsky
Camera Operators: Clint Evangelista, Qiyi Fan, Alice Medrano, Steven Phung, Yimeng Sun
Editors: Steven Phung, Yimeng Sun
Story Consultant: Griffin Middelson
Animators: Weilun Yao, Lilly Gee
Sound Designers: Steven Phung
Music Composers: Remy Rose, Riain Hager, Forrest Reid
Back To Top