Advanced and Accurate Mobile Health Tracking Devices Record New Cardiac Vital Signs

Hypertension. 2018 Aug;72(2):503-510. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.118.11177. Epub 2018 Jul 2.


Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death and disease worldwide. As demands on an already resource-constrained healthcare system intensify, disease prevention in the future will likely depend on out-of-office monitoring of cardiovascular risk factors. Mobile health tracking devices that can track blood pressure and heart rate, in addition to new cardiac vital signs, such as physical activity level and pulse wave velocity (PWV), offer a promising solution. An initial barrier is the development of accurate and easily-scalable platforms. In this study, we made a customized smartphone app and used mobile health devices to track PWV, blood pressure, heart rate, physical activity, sleep duration, and multiple lifestyle risk factors in ≈250 adults for 17 continual weeks. Eligible participants were identified by a company database and then were consented and enrolled using only a smartphone app, without any special training given. Study participants reported high overall satisfaction, and 73% of participants were able to measure blood pressure and PWV, <1 hour apart, for at least 14 of 17 weeks. The study population's blood pressure, PWV, heart rate, activity levels, sleep duration, and the interrelationships among these measurements were found to closely match either population averages or values obtained from studies performed in a controlled setting. As a proof-of-concept, we demonstrated the accuracy and ease, as well as many challenges, of using mHealth technology to accurately track PWV and new cardiovascular vital signs at home.

Keywords: blood pressure; cardiovascular disease; hypertension; smartphone; vital signs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Blood Pressure Determination / instrumentation*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Rate / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulse Wave Analysis / instrumentation*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Telemedicine / instrumentation*