Monitor and measure blood pressure effectively with selfie video

Monitoring blood pressure via cell phone?

Many people make short videos and so-called selfies, for example to show their daily routines on social media. Researchers have now found that selfie videos can also be used to effectively monitor blood pressure.

The current study by the University of Toronto found that it was possible to use short selfie videos to monitor blood pressure. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging".

Handy was equipped with special imaging software

With the help of a cell phone camera equipped with special imaging software, the researchers were able to determine the blood flow patterns of 1,328 people. To do this, they recorded subtle changes in ambient light as it reflected on the skin. Compared to other techniques for measuring blood pressure, the use of a cell phone is initially associated with significantly lower costs.

What was the accuracy of the method?

On average, systolic blood pressure was predicted with an accuracy of almost 95 percent using a cell phone, while the accuracy of diastolic blood pressure and pulse pressure was almost 96 percent, the research team reports. All participants in the study had normal blood pressure. The footage was taken in a controlled environment with fixed lighting and it is unclear how well the technology would currently work in other environments. Nevertheless, the results are an important breakthrough, the researchers explain.

More research is needed

If future studies confirm the results and show that this method can be used to control high or low blood pressure, it is an option for a non-contact, non-invasive method to conveniently monitor blood pressure. Such a blood pressure check could be done anytime, anywhere. The researchers hope to be able to further test their technology by examining more people with extremely dark or light skin tones using the method. They also want to reduce the video length required from two minutes to 30 seconds. According to the British Heart Foundation, a successful launch of the method in the UK alone could have a significant impact on more than 14 million people with high blood pressure. An estimated more than a third of these cases have not been diagnosed.

Results could improve hypertension treatment

This innovative study is a powerful example of how data from mobile technology can be used and analyzed with modern machine learning methods to potentially improve cardiovascular care. If further research can confirm that the new approach works in people with very different skin tones, different blood pressure values ​​and in normal living environments, it could help diagnose and treat hypertension and make monitoring and treatment significantly easier. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Hong Luo, Deye Yang, Andrew Barszczyk, Naresh Vempala, Jing Wei et al .: Smartphone-Based Blood Pressure Measurement Using Transdermal Optical Imaging Technology, in Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging (query: 08.08.2019), Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging

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