Microsoft’s Eyeglass Monitors Blood Pressure


NEW YORK—Microsoft researchers Christian Holz and Edward J. Wang have developed an eyeglass frame that monitors blood pressure. The wearable device, called Glabella, “continuously and unobtrusively monitors heart rates at three sites on the wearer’s head,” according to Holz and Wang. The glasses prototype incorporates optical sensors, processing, storage, and communication components, all integrated into the frame to passively collect physiological data about the user without the need for any interaction, the researchers said.

Glabella continuously records the stream of reflected light intensities from blood flow as well as inertial measurements of the user’s head. “From the temporal differences in pulse events across the sensors, our prototype derives the wearer’s pulse transit time on a beat-to-beat basis,” according to a white paper by Holz and Wang that was published in “Proceedings of the ACM (Association for Computer Machinery) on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies.” Recording the pulse transit time enables the device to predict and monitor the behavior of the wearer’s systolic blood pressure on a beat-by-beat basis throughout the day.

“The frequent nature of sampling has the potential of helping in detecting short-term anomalies in an individual's blood pressure, such as temporary hypotension and hypertension, response and recovery times to medication, food intake, activity, as well as other events during the day,” the researchers concluded.

To learn more, visit Holz’s and Wang’s project page. Additional details are available in their patent application.