Narrowband Auscultatory Blood Pressure Monitor

Narrowband Auscultatory Blood Pressure Monitor

Auscultatory blood pressure measurement uses the presence and absence of acoustic pulses generated by an artery (i.e., Korotkoff sound), detected with a stethoscope or a sensitive microphone, to noninvasively estimate systolic and diastolic pressures. Unfortunately, in high noise situations, such as ambulatory environments or when the patient moves moderately, the current auscultatory blood pressure method is unreliable, if at all possible.  Empirical evidence suggests that the pulse beneath an artery occlusion travels relatively slow compared with the speed of sound. By placing two microphones along the bicep muscle near the brachial artery under the occlusion cuff, a similar blood pressure pulse appears in the two microphones with a relative time delay. The acoustic noise, on the other hand, appears in both microphones simultaneously.  The contribution of this paper is to utilize this phenomenon by filtering the microphone waveforms to create spatially narrowband information signals. With a narrowband signal, the microphone signal phasing information is adequate for distinguishing between acoustic noise and the blood pressure pulse. By choosing the microphone spacing correctly, subtraction of the two signals will enhance the information signal and cancel the noise signal. The general spacing problem is also presented.

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