Checking blood pressure in a heartbeat, using artificial intelligence and a camera — ScienceDaily

Engineers at the University of South Australia have designed a system to remotely measure blood pressure by photographing a person’s forehead and extracting heart signals using artificial intelligence.

Using the same remote health technology they pioneered to monitor vital signs remotely, engineers from the University of South Australia and the Middle Technical University of Baghdad have designed a contactless system to accurately measure systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

It could replace the existing uncomfortable and cumbersome method of tying an inflatable cuff around a patient’s arm or wrist, the researchers said.

In a new paper published in An inventionresearchers describe this process, which includes recording a person from a short distance for 10 seconds and extracting heart signals from two regions on the forehead, using artificial intelligence algorithms.

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The systolic and diastolic readings were about 90 percent accurate, compared to an existing device (a digital sphygmomanometer) used to measure blood pressure, which is itself subject to errors.

The test was carried out on 25 people with different skin and under changing light conditions, overcoming the limitations reported in previous studies.

“Blood pressure monitoring is essential for the diagnosis and management of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for almost 18 million deaths in 2019,” said UniSA neuroengineer Professor Javaan Chahl.

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“Furthermore, in the last 30 years, the number of adults with high blood pressure has increased from 650 million to 1.28 billion worldwide.

“The health sector needs a system that can accurately measure blood pressure and assess cardiovascular risk when contact with patients is unsafe or difficult, such as in the recent COVID outbreak.

“If we can make this approach work well, it will help manage one of the most serious health challenges facing the world today,” said Prof Chahl.

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Advanced technology has come a long way since 2017, when a team of UniSA and Iraqi researchers demonstrated image processing algorithms that could extract a person’s heart rate from drone video.

Over the past five years researchers have developed algorithms to measure other vital signs, including breathing rates from 50 meters, oxygen saturation, temperature, and jaundice in newborns.

Their contactless technology was sent to the United States during the crisis to monitor symptoms of COVID-19 remotely.

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Items provided by University of South Australia. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


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