Phoenix Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor Project


A goal of the Halberg Chronobiology Center is to obtain an Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor suitable for long term use, encourage its use on a massive scale to obtain measures in health, and to encourage the development of diagnostic, prevention and treatment techniques.

They believe that changes in blood pressure cycles can be used to prevent and treat hypertension, heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, retinopathy, and other major handicapping and fatal diseases. Measurements of blood pressure cycles (see graph) can be analyzed if they are continued for at least 7 days with automatic ambulatory monitoring that is easily available for everyone. This will enable people to receive treatment who would never be treated, reduce the debilitating side-effects of unnecessary medication, make visible critical symptoms that do not occur during physician visits, detect the onset of the vascular diseases which often do not have easily visible symptoms, and greatly reduce the enormous healthcare cost of catastrophic events by preventing them. (click for more)

The Phoenix Project will develop the monitor. It will focus on product development and launch. The Phoenix Measurement Program will encourage the monitor to be used to obtain measures of normal health. It will focus on public health and policy. The Phoenix Clinical Program will encourage the use of the monitor in diagnosis, prevention and treatment. It will focus on clinical practice and services.

Purpose of the Phoenix Project

The Phoenix Project is a study group of the Twin Cities IEEE to develop an ambulatory blood pressure monitor for the Halberg Chronobiology Center at the University of Minnesota. Our goal is to make a monitor that is inexpensive, unobtrusive, easy to use and collects a week of blood pressure measurements.

 * Inexpensive
Price should be low enough that it is not a barrier to using the monitor. It should be less expensive than the blood pressure cuff. It should be less expensive than a wrist watch, less than $50. In order to become third-world friendly, we thought it should be less than "two bushels of yams." We would like it to be $10 or less.

* Unobtrusive
The monitor should be able to be placed on a patient, and they can forget about it and not be aware of it. It should be no more encumbering that a wrist watch, a bandaid or a piece of jewelry.

It should be able to be used wherever the patient is, such as at home or at work when allowed. It should not be usable only at a hospital, clinic or doctor's office.

* Easy to Use
'The monitor should be easier to use than current devices relying on the blood pressure cuff while providing measurements of equal accuracy. The patient should be able to ignore it, but it is desirable for them to be able to determine that it is functioning normally and observe a blood pressure and heart rate measurement if they wish.

It should be automatic, so that measurements will be taken regardless of patient behavior. Also, it should allow manually initiated measurements.

* Week of Blood Pressure Measurements
The monitor should record measurements at least every half hour for at least 7 days. We want to measure systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and heart rate. Additionally, we would like to measure physical activity to determine if vigorous body movement, such as physical exercise, influenced the blood pressure measurement; and we would like to measure blood flow. See the bibliography article describing the rationale for measuring blood pressure for 7 days.


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This page is maintained by Ellis S Nolley. It was last updated on 10 January 2005.

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