UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Multimodal Photoplethysmography-Based Approaches for Improved Detection of Hypertension Welykholowa, Kaylie; Hosanee, Manish; Chan, Gabriel; Cooper, Rachel; Kyriacou, Panayiotis A.; Zheng, Dingchang; Allen, John; Abbott, Derek; Menon, Carlo; Lovell, Nigel H.; et al.


Elevated blood pressure (BP) is a major cause of death, yet hypertension commonly goes undetected. Owing to its nature, it is typically asymptomatic until later in its progression when the vessel or organ structure has already been compromised. Therefore, noninvasive and continuous BP measurement methods are needed to ensure appropriate diagnosis and early management before hypertension leads to irreversible complications. Photoplethysmography (PPG) is a noninvasive technology with waveform morphologies similar to that of arterial BP waveforms, therefore attracting interest regarding its usability in BP estimation. In recent years, wearable devices incorporating PPG sensors have been proposed to improve the early diagnosis and management of hypertension. Additionally, the need for improved accuracy and convenience has led to the development of devices that incorporate multiple different biosignals with PPG. Through the addition of modalities such as an electrocardiogram, a final measure of the pulse wave velocity is derived, which has been proved to be inversely correlated to BP and to yield accurate estimations. This paper reviews and summarizes recent studies within the period 2010–2019 that combined PPG with other biosignals and offers perspectives on the strengths and weaknesses of current developments to guide future advancements in BP measurement. Our literature review reveals promising measurement accuracies and we comment on the effective combinations of modalities and success of this technology.

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