EMPIR project outcome improves accuracy and calibration of blood pressure devices

Image showing a doctor measuring blood pressure on the patient's arm with the blood pressure monitor in the hospital
A doctor measuring blood pressure on the patient's arm with the blood pressure monitor in the hospital

EMPIR project developed a device that accurately mimics biological blood pressure signals, therefore improving calibration of blood pressure devices

Early detection of hypertension with blood pressure devices, also known as sphygmomanometers, can improve treatment options. On the market, majority of blood pressure devices utilise so called oscillometric method, which is easy to implement, but problematic to calibrate well and therefore it may provide inaccurate measurements.

The EMPIR project ‘Developing an infrastructure for improved and harmonised metrological checks of blood-pressure measurements in Europe’ (adOSSIG, 18RPT02) developed a novel advanced oscillometric signal generator (aOSG), which can be used to determine the accuracy of oscillometric sphygmomanometers.

The aOSG can reproduce oscillometric blood pressure signals that closely resemble biological conditions and test the pressure devices in their standard operating mode whereas previous accuracy checks were performed only with static pressure, which only checked the ability to correctly display test pressure instead of evaluation of correctness of blood pressure measurement. The aOSG was evaluated by test protocol based on technical specification ISO/TS 81060-5.

The capabilities of the aOSG were tested further when the Czech newspaper Mladá Fronta DNES invited the project partners to participate in a consumer test. The accuracy of several sphygmomanometers from different manufacturers was evaluated by the aOSG. This further demonstrated the use of the aOSG and its ability to perform accuracy checks and calibrations of sphygmomanometers. The results were later presented at IMEKO TC11 & TC24 hybrid conference.

The project coordinator Václav Sedlák (CMI) comments on the success of the aOSG:

‘Accurate blood pressure measurements are needed for effective hypertension prevention and treatment. In order to provide accurate results, we have to use accurate and calibrated blood pressure devices. The developed aOSG allows us to assess the overall accuracy of the blood pressure devices, rather than insufficient static pressure checks. Together with other activities undertaken during research project adOSSIG, this can lead to improvements in this segment of medical metrology.’


This EMPIR project is co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.

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