In the world today some of the most significant health issues are related to the cardiovascular system. As compared to developing countries, countries like the United States have plenty of opportunities for accurate diagnosis of cardiovascular disease. Engineering World Health (EWH), a non profit organization based out of Duke University is currently working toward providing improved healthcare to these areas. EWH works directly with clinicians and technicians to determine the most urgent needs to address, one of which is a device that will enable a minimally trained individual to take blood pressure measurements without the use of a stethoscope, or a “Non Electronic Blood Pressure Assist Device”.
Blood pressure itself is caused by the force of the circulating blood against the vessel walls; for a single heart beat a maximum blood pressure (systolic) and a minimum (diastolic) can be felt. These forces, usually detected and identified as the Korotkoff sounds through the use of a stethoscope, are the focus of all three of our designs. We aim to satisfy all the customer needs by designing a device that translates the vibrations into a visual indication of blood pulses, more specifically the first pulse to force its way through the occluded artery (systolic) and the last pulse detectable before laminar flow is regained (diastolic).
Image from: http://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/about.htm