Valencell today announced the availability of the world’s first calibration-free blood pressure (BP) sensor system for integration in hearables and wearables. Valencell will provide the BP sensor system as a core technology to medical device and consumer electronics manufacturers for inclusion in their products.
Embedded in an earbud reference design, the technology has demonstrated BP cuff-like accuracy through rigorous testing on thousands of patients and tens of thousands of datasets.
The technology can recognize hypertension with 89% accuracy, which is more accurate than comparable technologies available today, and provides BP readings within +/-8mmHg for qualified datasets. In addition, the sensor system requires no calibration of any kind, meaning no BP cuff is ever needed to use this technology.
The breakthrough technology uses only photoplethysmography (PPG) and inertial sensors – no ECG, pulse transit time or other sensor modalities are used. It allows someone wearing an earbud to get accurate BP readings throughout the day, for example while they are at their desk at work, listening to music, or watching television, all without the hassle of putting on a BP cuff.
Blood Pressure Sensor Technology for Wearables, Hearables… and Hearing Aids
In the fall of 2019, Valencell conducted a clinical research study to validate the accuracy of the BP sensor system adhering to the ISO 81060-2(2018) standard for noninvasive BP cuffs. The results of that study have been accepted to be presented at the American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Session in March 2020 in a session titled: “Biometric Audio Earbuds Produce Cuff-Like Accuracy in Monitoring Blood Pressure”.
“We are very excited to announce the availability of this technology for a few reasons: 1) we see tremendous public health value for over one billion people with hypertension in measuring blood pressure in devices people are wearing everyday anyway, 2) providing cuff-level accuracy without the cuff in a sensor system that can be embedded in many different form factors and devices is truly groundbreaking. Valencell has been working on this technology for many years and we look forward to working with our partners to integrate this technology in their next devices.”
—Dr. Steven LeBoeuf, Valencell president and co-founder
The BP sensor system was developed in partnership with Valencell’s strategic partner Sonion. Sonion and Valencell are also working on a version of this technology optimized for hearing aids and hearing health devices. Additionally, Valencell is conducting ongoing research and development to enable the technology in other form factors and body locations, including the finger and wrist.
There is tremendous potential public health value in getting more people to measure their BP more often. According to the World Health Organization, over one billion people around the world have hypertension and in the US the CDC estimates one-third of those with hypertension don’t even know it. Compounding the problem is the fact that BP cuffs are hard to use and they come with a stigma. If technology like this can start measuring BP in the background with devices that people already use daily, it can start making a dent in a massive global health problem.
The technology is being demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week at Valencell booth #44313. The BP sensor system is available to integrate into hearables and wearables starting in February 2020.
Valencell transforms the science of wearable biometrics to enable impactful health outcomes. Through innovative R&D and validated technologies, we develop breakthroughs and collaborate with wearables, hearables, and medical device companies around the world to deliver amazing results. Protected by more than 85 granted patents and more than 100 patents pending, Valencell’s technology can be used in wearables and hearables for virtually anyone, anywhere, doing anything. Valencell’s biometric sensor systems are currently integrated into more wearable devices than any other technology provider in the world.