“Blood Pressure” by Bernard Goldbach is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Smart Phone Camera May Be Able To Monitor Your Blood Pressure

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Kang Lee, PhD
Dr Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study
University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: We use a technology called transdermal optical imaging I and my postdoc invented to record facial blood flow using a regular video camera on the smartphone. This technology capitalizes on the fact that light travels beneath the facial skin and reflect off the hemoglobin under the skin. Our technology captures the minute reflected photons to decode facial blood changes due to our pulses and other physiological activities.

Using machine learning, a neural network model learns to use the facial blood flow to predict blood pressures taken with a FDA approved scientific blood pressure measurement instrument. We then use the final model to predict the blood pressures of a new group of participants whose data had never been used in the model training.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: This paper shows for the first time that we can use the video camera in the smartphone to measure our blood pressure non-invasively and accurately without contact. It opens up the possibility that we can use our smartphone to regularly and conveniently monitor our blood pressure.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Hypertension is one of the leading risks of heart attack and stroke. It affects nearly half of Americans and many people all over the world. monitoring blood pressure regularly is crucial to prevent hypertension and to manage hypertension. The current cuff based methods are not convenient and uncomfortable for regularly and repeated measurement. The present study shows the new method may make convenient and comfortable monitoring of blood pressure a reality.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: The study is only based on a sample of people with systolic blood pressure between 100 and 139 mm Hg. We need to expand our sample to recruit patients with higher blood pressures.


Hong Luo, Deye Yang, Andrew Barszczyk, Naresh Vempala, Jing Wei, Si Jia Wu, Paul Pu Zheng, Genyue Fu, Kang Lee, Zhong-Ping Feng. Smartphone-Based Blood Pressure Measurement Using Transdermal Optical Imaging Technology. Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging, 2019; 12 (8) DOI: 10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.119.008857 

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Last Updated on August 7, 2019 by Marie Benz MD FAAD