DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Progress Report, Week 1: September 13th


Tasks Accomplished This Week:

01. Research fundamentals about the original design.

02. With our new knowledge, brainstorm possible methods & problems encountered

Identify a method sensitive enough to measure the oscillations caused by pulsating arteries when released from occlusion (specifically in the arm, brachial artery) and furthermore find the systolic and diastolic pressures easily.

We considered:

• Optical fibers to detect the oscillations caused by the pulsating flow of blood (Josh). A schematic that appealed to us involved a simple design of microbeads that would cause a change in light intensity when compressed. The start of intensity flickering would indict systolic pressure and the end would indicate diastolic pressure (Ada).

• Employ the principles of sound waves. With the use of the phonendoscope, whose purpose is to amplify sound (Ada), the waves could be sent to a liquid filled gauge via tubing. Vibrations would be seen and liquid drops would identify the vibration. The last drop could indicate diastolic pressure. Other means of amplification could be implemented by altering the tube geometry or attaching something at the tube’s end to reflect the sound waves (Mo). A clearly audible beat would additionally be an indicator of these waves without use of a liquid (Jibril).

• Use of color indicator, which would change dependent on touch (Emily).

• Implementing an “off” or ‘not in use’ position (clicker pen) that would bring the surfaces farther apart essentially inactivating the mechanism, to avoid wear and tear (Emily).

• An optical change inspired by stretchy opaque material that would change in color due to pressure. The stretching would make the material less opaque to present a new color (Emily).

• Considering a non-electronic display by using a cell/hand tally counter (Emily), which has been obtained.

Developed questions:

• Should we use or modify a “mercury gage” considering the price by customers? (Josh)

• How exactly do electronic sphygmomanometers work? (Josh)

• How would outdoor weather affect the ability to read changes in light intensity (overcast v. sunny)? (Ada)

• How can an untrained person determine what the blood pressure is? Most of our ideas involve beat indicators. Will be need a blood pressure gauge, or will we need to design a separate attachment that goes on the cuff (or elsewhere)? Will they have to look simultaneously at two things? (Emily)

• What are the ideal conditions for vibrations to travel (to avoid attenuation)? (Jibril)

• What methods are most effective and ideal for us to amplify sound? (Mo)


• Figure out how the electronic sphygmomanometer works and possibly simplify it to counter rather than electronic with data saving and the works (Josh).

• To combine light intensity changes with color to make identification easier (Ada and Emily)


Planned Activities for the Following Week:

01. Determine specifications of the design (for example):

a. What distortions of the vibrations occur when it travels through skin?

b. Would the phonendoscope help? How much more amplified is the sound?

c. Are optical devices expensive?

02. Identify the target customer for the project.

03. Determine and rank customer needs

04. Answer questions we have encountered and research suggestions.

05. Refine problems or eliminate them as potential solutions through the use of a decision matrix with customer needs in mind.


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.