Samsung recently announced that it would enter the healthcare and mobile healthcare markets as one of their future growth engines. They're currently attending the Medica trade show in Germany and will be attending Medica's US event on December first with a booth presenting over 20 different devices including digital X-ray equipment and a portable CT scanner. Earlier this quarter the US Patent Office revealed one of Samsung's latest inventions relating to a portable, cuffless blood pressure device.
Samsung's Patent Background
Ubiquitous environments that freely connect to a network, regardless of a time and/or location are currently being provided and allowing various information to be available to many users for sharing.
In the ubiquitous environment, a health care field refers to an environment where a user is provided with a medical service through a network, without visiting a hospital, and a health condition of the user is frequently checked. Therefore, research on the health care field has been actively conducted and various medical devices have been developed.
In addition, as health consciousness has recently increased, users have increasingly measured their health conditions using various medical devices. For example, a user may measure a bio-signal such as blood pressure, heart rate, and pulse.
To prevent hypertension and the like, it is most important to continuously measure blood pressure. To do so, a method has been developed that measures a blood pressure based on oscillation that is generated when a user winds a cuff around an arm of the user and pressurizes or depressurizes an artery using the cuff A device for conveniently measuring blood pressure from a wrist or a finger using a cuff has also been actively studied and commercialized.
An upper arm-type blood pressure measuring apparatus that winds a cuff around an arm of the user is large, and is therefore difficult to carry. Also, a scheme that winds a cuff around a wrist or a finger for easy portability is inconvenient during measurement, due to a line that connects the cuff and a blood pressure measuring apparatus. In particular, blood pressure may sensitively vary based on various conditions such as a cuff characteristic and a user's posture during measurement, which can compromise the accuracy of the measurement.
Samsung's Invents Cuffless Blood Pressure Solution
Samsung's medical related invention relates to a portable blood pressure measuring method and apparatus for measuring a blood pressure without using a cuff
One aspect of the present invention is to provide a portable blood pressure measuring method and apparatus that considers a posture of a user during measurement.
Another aspect of the present invention is to provide a portable blood pressure measuring method and apparatus for providing a customized blood pressure monitoring result screen.
In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a method of measuring a blood pressure in a portable terminal includes receiving an electrocardiogram signal and a pulse wave signal from a portable blood pressure measuring apparatus when a blood pressure measurement application is executed, calculating a Pulse Transit Time (PTT) and a Pulse Wave Velocity (PWV) using the received electrocardiogram signal and the pulse wave signal, calculating a blood pressure value using the calculated PTT and PWV, and outputting the calculated blood pressure value and a blood pressure measurement result.
Samsung's patent FIG. 2 noted below is a perspective view of the portable blood pressure measuring apparatus.
When the user desires to measure a blood pressure, the user brings a finger into contact with the photo sensor (#120, see below) brings another finger from the same hand into contact with the first electrode (#113), and brings a finger of another hand into contact with the second electrode (#115). When the contacts are maintained, then the user presses the start button and an electrocardiogram signal and a pulse wave signal are measured through the first electrode through to the third electrode and the photo sensor.
Samsung's patent FIG. 3 noted above illustrates a method of gripping the portable blood pressure measuring apparatus. Samsung's patent FIG. 4 noted below illustrates a method of measuring a PTT using an electrocardiogram signal and a pulse wave signal.
A Samsung Electronics official stated to the Korean press that "We plan to participate in major international medical exhibitions by raising brand awareness on our products. We will be No. 1 in medical devices just like we are in other electronic areas."
Last month Sotera Wireless was granted FDA approval for their ViSi Mobile continuous, non-invasive blood pressure (cNIBP) monitoring. The system will allow clinicians not to insert a catheter or to have a cuff to continuously monitor systolic and diastolic, beat-to-beat blood pressure along with other core vital signs including pulse rate, skin temperature, electrocardiogram, blood oxygenation and respiration rates.
It was also reported on Thursday that the Nihon University developed a small cuffless blood pressure meter that can be linked to a smartphone. So the race is on in this emerging field of new consumer portable medical devices.
Samsung's patent FIG. 1 noted below illustrates a configuration of a portable blood pressure measuring apparatus and a portable terminal.
Samsung filed their patent application back in Q1 2013 in the US and in Q2 2012 in Korea. The patent was published earlier in the quarter by the US Patent and Trademark Office. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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