Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are developing a non-invasive and user-friendly wearable
device for monitoring blood pressure, blood glucose, and biomarkers, which could improve quality of life,
decrease healthcare expenditure, and allow for early intervention for potentially serious diseases.
Currently, a major area of interest within the medical wearable device industry is the real-time monitoring
of blood pressure. More than 100 million adults in the United States and a third of the worldwide population
suffer from high blood pressure. The disease causes more than 79,000 deaths annually and is the most
common cause of cardiovascular-related deaths. Treatment for high blood pressure commonly comprises
lifestyle changes and administration of drugs. However, these remedies do not cure the disease and it must
be monitored daily to prevent various complications. Presently, blood pressure monitoring at
home is accomplished via several commercially available monitoring systems. These devices are reliable
and accurate, but they are bulky and troublesome. Hence, the development of a wearable device that
continuously monitors and records blood pressure and other biological parameters would help improve
patient care and compliance.
The conceptualized, wearable device uses ultrasound to non-invasively monitor various
physiological parameters (e.g., blood pressure, blood glucose, ECG) within the body. It utilizes
ultrasound imaging. For example, B-mode ultrasound imaging analyzes the changes
in the acoustic properties of tissues. Thus, it can detect abnormalities via analyzing shapes and motion
of biological structures under the skin including subtle changes in tissue texture5. B-mode imaging
determines granular patterns, known as speckle, as a result of the coherent accumulation of random
scattering within a cell. The invention also integrates Doppler imaging, image scattering, and machine
learning to aid in the measurement of biologic parameters.