Exploration and Validation of Alternate Sensing Methods for Wearable Continuous Pulse Transit Time Measurement Using Optical and Bioimpedance Modalities
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In this work we explore the viability of a multimodal sensing device that can be integrated in a wearable form factor for daily, non-invasive ambulatory blood pressure (BP) monitoring. A common approach in previous research has been to rely on measuring the pulse transit time (PTT), which has been shown to be correlated with the BP. In this work, we look into the feasibility of measuring PTT using sensors separated by a small distance on one arm so that any eventual realization of the system is convenient to wear and use over long periods of time. Moreover, we investigate the combined use of two different modalities for cardiovascular measurement: the optical photoplethysmogram (PPG) as well as the bio-potential based impedance (Bio-Z) measurement. These two modalities have been previously only studied on their own or in conjunction with the electrocardiogram (ECG) for the purpose of estimating PTT. We measure the PTT from the wrist to the finger using Bio-Z and PPG sensors, and compare it to the conventional PTT measured from the ECG to PPG at the finger, in order to prove that it can be an effective replacement for existing PTT measurement strategies. Moreover, successful measurement of PTT with two different modalities of sensors at close proximity will allow designs with multiple heterogeneous sensors on a more versatile wearable sensing platform that is optimized for power and is more robust to environmental or skin contact changes. This will enable the next generation of smart watches that capture PTT and BP. Experiments were conducted in vivo with simultaneous ECG, Bio-Z and PPG sensors, and results indicate that the PTT calculated from the Bio-Z and PPG sensors placed at a close distance correlates well with the more established PTT measurement using the ECG in conjunction with PPG, with correlation coefficient as high as 0.92.
author list (cited authors)
Ibrahim, B., Nathan, V., & Jafari, R.