A novel deep learning based automatic auscultatory method to measure blood pressure

Fei Pan, Peiyu He, Fei Chen, Jing Zhang, He Wang, D. Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Background It is clinically important to develop innovative techniques that can accurately measure blood pressures (BP) automatically. Objectives This study aimed to present and evaluate a novel automatic BP measurement method based on deep learning method, and to confirm the effects on measured BPs of the position and contact pressure of stethoscope. Methods 30 healthy subjects were recruited. 9 BP measurements (from three different stethoscope contact pressures and three repeats) were performed on each subject. The convolutional neural network (CNN) was designed and trained to identify the Korotkoff sounds at a beat-by-beat level. Next, a mapping algorithm was developed to relate the identified Korotkoff beats to the corresponding cuff pressures for systolic and diastolic BP (SBP and DBP) determinations. Its performance was evaluated by investigating the effects of the position and contact pressure of stethoscope on measured BPs in comparison with reference manual auscultatory method. Results The overall measurement errors of the proposed method were 1.4 ± 2.4 mmHg for SBP and 3.3 ± 2.9 mmHg for DBP from all the measurements. In addition, the method demonstrated that there were small SBP differences between the 2 stethoscope positions, respectively at the 3 stethoscope contact pressures, and that DBP from the stethoscope under the cuff was significantly lower than that from outside the cuff by 2.0 mmHg (P < 0.01). Conclusion Our findings suggested that the deep learning based method was an effective technique to measure BP, and could be developed further to replace the current oscillometric based automatic blood pressure measurement method.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
Early online date29 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood pressure measurement
  • Convolutional neural network
  • Manual auscultatory method
  • Stethoscope position
  • Stethoscope contact pressure


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