Edward Jay Wang, UCSD

MassAITC Cohort: Year 1

We aim to democratize blood pressure monitoring by converting the billions of smartphone cameras, even the cheapest ones, into blood pressure (BP) monitors with an ultra-low-cost plastic clip that can be produced for mere cents. More than 70% of persons aged 65 years and older had BPs meeting the definition of hypertension, yet hypertension control rates are lower among older persons. Older adults have additional challenges with advancing age including increasing multimorbidity and limitations that affect mobility, dexterity, vision and hearing.

Given the prevalence of uncontrolled hypertension and additional challenges in the older adult population, it is essential that measurement of BP be done easily and accurately, but at the same time usable by themselves with little to no training and can be operated with limited dexterity. The proposed invention leverages a similar scientific premise as oscillometry performed by standard BP cuffs, but instead measured at the finger.

The insight that enables our innovation is the use of computational imaging that combines a smartphone camera with a cheap plastic clip that uses a mechanical interface to create an image projection on the smartphone camera that encodes both the force applied to the finger and the pulse amplitude needed for calculating blood pressure. The proposed invention has the potential to become a new class of BP monitoring device available for public health studies and programs that is not only low-cost, but inherently compatible with mobile platforms to leverage connectivity for compatibility with systemwide records.