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The Potential of Wearable Limb Ballistocardiogram in Blood Pressure Monitoring via Pulse Transit Time

Scientific Reports
The goal of this study was to investigate the potential of wearable limb ballistocardiography (BCG) to enable cuff-less blood pressure (BP) monitoring, by investigating the association between wearable limb BCG-based pulse transit time (PTT) and BP. A wearable BCG-based PTT was constructed using the BCG and photoplethysmogram (PPG) signals instrumented by a wristband as proximal and distal timing reference (called the wrist PTT). Its efficacy as surrogate of BP was examined in comparison with PTT constructed using the whole-body BCG instrumented by a customized weighing scale (scale PTT) as well as pulse arrival time (PAT) using the experimental data collected from 22 young healthy participants under multiple BP-perturbing interventions. The wrist PTT exhibited close association with both diastolic (group average r=0.79; mean absolute error (MAE)=5.1 mmHg) and systolic (group average r=0.81; MAE=7.6 mmHg) BP. The efficacy of the wrist PTT was superior to scale PTT and PAT for both diastolic and systolic BP. The association was consistent and robust against diverse BP-perturbing interventions. The wrist PTT showed superior association with BP when constructed with green PPG rather than infrared PPG. In sum, wearable limb BCG has the potential to realize convenient cuff-less BP monitoring via PTT.
Scientific Report, 9, 10666 (2019)