The established method for blood pressure monitoring is based on the use of an arm cuff. Especially for long-term monitoring in everyday life – especially at night – this method is perceived by most patients as very uncomfortable. In addition, the method provides only a few individual values over the course of the day. A new approach to blood pressure measurement, on the other hand, is possible with the help of optical sensors. Based on photoplethysmography (PPG), the contour of the pulse pressure waves is optically recorded through the surface of the skin, and the course of the blood pressure can be determined from the analysis of these waves. In addition, this provides access to the analysis of beat-to-beat variation in blood pressure – a new parameter that has received little attention to date and from which physicians expect great added value for the early diagnosis of diseases of the cardiovascular system.
The method and demonstrators, such sensors applied in the ear, were developed at the CiS Research Institute and successfully tested in several test series in the clinical environment. In order to now make these basic principles accessible to patients and users, the ZIM project BDMon (“In-ear sensor for non-invasive beat-to-beat blood pressure monitoring”) started in January 2022. Together with the partners PAR Medizintechnik, bluepoint MEDICAL and the Steinbeis Innovation Center, the project is developing the basis for new medical devices based on this functional principle and investigating the added diagnostic value.