Progress on the development of the MediWatch ambulatory blood pressure monitor and related devices

Blood Press Monit. 2004 Jun;9(3):149-65. doi: 10.1097/01.mbp.0000130432.57658.f7.


The MediWatch is a wrist-mounted noninvasive blood pressure monitor designed to capture the radial pulse waveform using arterial tonometry and yield blood pressure measurements when the waveform is calibrated. An early prototype of this monitor uses a pulse-sensing system with a cylindrical plunger to applanate the radial artery. This prototype was evaluated against simulated blood pressure generated by a pneumatic pressure-pulse generator. The simulation-based results show that the prototype gave accurate pressure measurements when the MediWatch waveforms were calibrated against the simulator's pressure, indicating that the pulse-sensing system was able to measure force accurately. The prototype was clinically evaluated against intra-arterial pressure on post-open heart surgery patients. The results show that, under stationary conditions, for short periods of time and when the MediWatch waveforms were calibrated against the intra-arterial pressure, the prototype gave measurements that satisfy some of the statistical criteria of the 1993 Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation standard, the 1993 British Hypertension Society protocol and the 2002 European Society of Hypertension protocol. These clinical results indicate that, under the stated test conditions, the prototype was able to accurately track changes in the patients' systolic and diastolic pressures. The MediWatch is being developed into an ambulatory device that provides a macroscopic view of the patient's blood pressure through measurement at preprogrammed intervals over 24 h, as well as a microscopic view of the patient's pressure through the pulse waveform captured during each measurement cycle. The design features of the MediWatch are being adapted for other applications that require the arterial pulse waveform, calibrated beat-to-beat blood pressure or both. An improved MediWatch prototype has been developed that provides memory storage for measurement data and functions as an integral part of a Web-based system that allows measurement data to be accessed over the Internet. A pulse-wave analyser has been developed that allows the radial pulse waveform to be captured, calibrated and viewed in real time on a personal computer. A continuous noninvasive blood pressure monitoring system based on arterial tonometry is being developed for use as an alternative to the arterial line in invasive blood pressure monitoring.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory / instrumentation*
  • Blood Pressure Monitors*
  • Calibration
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Microcomputers
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulse
  • Wrist