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Accurate blood pressure measurement

Novel technologies for automatic and accurate measurement of blood pressure.

Project leader

Prof A Murray


July 2016 to June 2019

Project staff


Raised arterial blood pressure (hypertension) is the third leading cause of death worldwide. Cardiovascular disease causes 17 million deaths every year. Complications from high blood pressure account for 9.4 million, split between stroke and heart disease. The WHO reported that 'Cardiovascular disease causes more than half of all deaths across the European Region'. The first important step in diagnosing hypertension is in the accurate measurement of blood pressure (BP). We are developing an effective diagnostic device with the potential to displace all current devices on the market.

There is a worldwide need for accurate blood pressure measurement. The "gold standard" is the manual method. This involves an experienced clinician listening to the stethoscope Korotkoff sounds and viewing a cuff pressure scale. The method is underused because of the training needed. The time required for the measurement in busy clinics is also a factor. The method is almost never used for self-measurement at home.

Automated devices use the oscillometric technique to analyse pulse waves. Using these devices can result in radically different readings for the same patient with different devices. Inaccurate measurement is such a problem that the UK Department of Health has issued several Warning Notices about current automated devices.

We are developing a novel technique for accurate, automatic measurement of blood pressure. Our previous EPSRC research provides the basis for this project. Our work was sufficiently novel to enable a patent application.

We are working with our Industrial Partner. Thus, we will be able to take this development to a marketable product available for hospital or home use.

Using this technology, clinicians will be able to diagnose high blood pressure and monitor treatment more effectively. The technology is a new departure and will open up avenues for academic research in engineering and clinical medicine.