Cuffless Blood Pressure Estimation Using Single Channel Photoplethysmography: A Two-Step Method

Syed Ghufran Khalid, Haipeng Liu, Tahir Zia, Jufen Zhang, Fei Chen, Dingchang Zheng

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)
    200 Downloads (Pure)


    Traditional cuff-based blood pressure (BP) monitoring procedure causes inconvenience and discomfort to the users. To overcome these limitations, cuffless BP estimation based on pulse transit time (PTT) and single-channel photoplethysmography (PPG) has been proposed. However, existing studies based on PTT and PPG for BP estimation did not achieve AAMI/ISO standard criteria for BP measurement (mean difference within ±5mmHg and SD of difference within ±8mmHg) under each BP category (Hypotensive, Normotensive and Hypertensive). This study aims to validate an innovative two-step method for PPG-based cuffless BP estimation. A combined database was derived from two online databases (Queensland and MIMIC II) to cover a wide range of corresponding BPs. In total, there were 18010 raw PPG signal segments (5 seconds for each) with corresponding BPs, separated into two halves for training and testing of algorithms (independent datasets). Each PPG signal segment was pre-processed to extract 16 signal features. Later, three significant features have been selected using multicollinearity test. The traditional generic (trained with uncategorized BP) algorithm and two-step algorithm (specifically optimized for each BP category) were developed using machine learning. Generally, the two-step algorithm achieved the AAMI/ISO standard in estimating systolic BP (mean ±SD: 0.07±7.1 mmHg, p<0.001) and diastolic BP (-0.08±6.0 mmHg, p<0.001). Categorically, the two-step method also achieved standard accuracy in all BP categories except Hypotensive systolic BP whereas generic algorithm did not conform to standard accuracy in any BP category except Hypotensive diastolic BP and Normotensive categories. Compared to the traditional generic algorithm, the two-step algorithm specifically designed for three different BP category patients and achieved standard accuracy for cuffless BP estimation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number9042315
    Pages (from-to)58146-58154
    Number of pages9
    JournalIEEE Access
    Early online date19 Mar 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


    • Cuffless BP
    • Photoplethysmography & categorical BP estimation
    • pulse transit time

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Computer Science(all)
    • Materials Science(all)
    • Engineering(all)


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