Alexandru-Gabriel Pielmus, Jens Mühlstef, Erik Bresch, Martin Glos, Christiane Jungen, Stefan Mieke, Reinhold Orglmeister, Andreas Schulze, Birgit Stender, Verena Voigt, Sebastian Zaunseder
February 10, 2021
Arterial blood pressure is one of the most often measured vital parameters in clinical practice. State-of-the-art noninvasive ABP measurement technologies have noticeable limitations and are mainly based on uncomfortable techniques of complete or partial arterial occlusion by cuffs. Most commonplace devices provide only intermittent measurements, and continuous systems are bulky and difficult to apply correctly for nonprofessionals. Continuous cuffless ABP measurements are still an unmet clinical need and a topic of ongoing research, with only few commercially available devices. This paper discusses surrogate-based noninvasive blood pressure measurement techniques. It covers measurement methods of continuously and noninvasively inferring BP from surrogate signals without applying external pressures, except for reference or initialization purposes. The BP is estimated by processing signal features, so called surrogates, which are modulated by variations of BP. Discussed techniques include well-known approaches such as pulse transit time and pulse arrival time techniques, pulse wave analysis or combinations thereof. Despite a long research history, these methods have not found widespread use in clinical and ambulatory practice, in part due to technical limitations and the lack of a standardized regulatory framework. This work summarizes findings from an invited workshop of experts in the fields covering clinical expertise, engineering aspects, commercialization and standardization issues. The goal is to provide an application driven outlook, starting with clinical needs, and extending to technical actuality. It provides an outline of recommended research directions and includes a detailed overview of clinical use case scenarios for these technologies, opportunities, and limitations.