These Glasses From Microsoft Monitor Blood Pressure Without the Cuff

Many medical conditions, particularly those related to heart problems and hypertension, require at-home blood pressure monitoring. If high blood pressure is an especially big concern, you may even need to constantly monitor your blood pressure. Unfortunately, the devices on the market, such as blood pressure cuffs, are uncomfortable and cumbersome. Microsoft Research’s Glabella Project glasses continuously monitor blood pressure without the need for a bulky cuff.

The smart glasses use optical pulse sensors to detect the blood flowing through different artery locations in a wearer’s head .(📷: Christian Holz/Microsoft Research)

The Glabella Project glasses look mostly like regular eyeglasses, albeit with a thick frame. That large frame is used to house a processor and a 3-axis IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit). Those are used in conjunction with optical pulse sensors in order to indirectly check the wearer’s blood pressure. They’ve tested prototypes with the optical sensor located on the bridge of the nose, and with with it located on the side of the head. The first is more accurate, but the latter is less noticeable.

The custom hardware is housed within the frame of regular glasses. (📷: Christian Holz/Microsoft Research)

During testing, the subjects wearing the glasses achieved the goal of frequent blood pressure checks. Because the glasses don’t require the use of a cumbersome cuff, the subjects were much more likely to use them consistently. That’s promising, but there are concerns about the glasses needing calibration. Microsoft is working on a new version that improves that, while also making the glasses slimmer and more efficient, and they plan to do a clinical evaluation soon.

These Glasses From Microsoft Monitor Blood Pressure Without the Cuff was originally published in Hackster Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.