In traditional Chinese and Korean medicine, doctors first observe a patient's pulse by gently and strongly pressing their fingers onto the wrist, and then make a diagnosis based on the observed pulse waves. The most common method to implement this diagnostic technique is to mechanically extract the pulse waves by applying a fixed range of pressures for all patients. However, this method does not consider the patients individual characteristics such as age, sex, and skin thickness. In the present study, we propose a new method of pulse wave extraction that incorporates the personal characteristics of the patients. This method measures the pulse wave signal at varying hold-down pressures, rather than applying a fixed hold-down pressure for all patients. To compare this new technique with existing methods, we extracted pulse waves from 20 subjects, and then determined the actual applied pressure at each step, the coefficient of floating and sinking pulse (CFS), and the distinction of floating/ sinking pulse for each group. Consequently, each subject had a different pressure range in our proposed method, whereas all subjects had a similar pressure range in the existing method. Four of 20 subjects exhibited different floating/sinking pulse patterns due to the value of the first pressure step and the range of hold-down pressures. These four subjects were categorized as overweight based on BMI. In addition, the moving distance of the proposed method was longer than the existing method (p = 0.003, paired t-test), and the correlation coefficient between CFS values of two different methods was 0.321, indicating that there was no correlation.
Bibliographical noteThis is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
FunderWe would like to thank all participants who involve in this study and acknowledge the financial support of the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, Republic of Korea (Grant No. 10028436).
- Floating/Sinking pulse pattern
- Hold-down pressure
- Pulse depth
- Pulse wave measurement
- Skin thickness
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