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Simplified Model for the Design of an Oscillometric Blood Pressure Measuring System

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Title: Simplified Model for the Design of an Oscillometric Blood Pressure Measuring System
Author: James, Matthew
Department: School of Engineering
Program: Engineering
Advisor: Gregori, StefanoFayek, Dalia
Abstract: The oscillometric method for blood pressure measurement has been known for over a century. It was overshadowed by the classic stethoscope and cuff method until more recently when its ease of automation became useful. It is now found in the automated blood pressure cuffs used in hospitals, doctor's offices, pharmacies, and devices sold for home use. It still challenges accurate blood pressure measurement, however, due to its difficulty in compensating for pregnancy, age, hypo-, and hypertension. Global sensitivity analysis methods were used to develop a model that focuses on the most important system parameters. The most influential biological and design parameters were identified allowing the removal or fixing of less influential parameters, and the replacement of subsystems with linear models, with minimal effect on the overall system accuracy. The developed model allows for the investigation and development of new methods for extracting parameter information from the oscillometric signals. This is illustrated by the development of a method to extract the artery's cross-sectional area from standard oscillometric output. The system design requirements for accurate measurement of blood pressure are examined and discussed with recommendations for system parameter adjustment. The model's performance and usefulness is highlighted with modelled case studies of potential real-world applications for subjects with parameters or inputs for which the oscillometric method would find it difficult to compensate. Through the use of the developed model to compensate for the system errors, the measurement error can be reduced by half. Highlighting the important system parameters allows the engineer to focus on choosing the design parameters over which she or he has control. The system model provides the ability to experiment with the cuff design choices and provides information regarding system performance under conditions that are historically difficult to measure accurately. The developed model's usefulness is illustrated by applying it to parameter extraction, and to the compensation of oscillometric blood pressure readings.
Date: 2012-06
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