Background: Ballistocardiography (BCG) is a non-invasive measurement of the reaction of the whole body generated by the ejection of blood at each cardiac cycle. Consequently, it is an integration of multiple forces related to movements of blood inside the heart, inside the arteries (primarily the aorta), and the heart itself. However, its application has been restricted by a limited understanding of the physiological interpretation of the BCG signal and its deformations. Thanks to the development of novel technologies and signal processing methods for measurement and analysis, BCG is enjoying a resurgence as a potential clinical tool.
Technology: Omer Inan, Ramakrishna Mukkamala, Jin-Oh Hahn, Stephanie Ober, and Chang-Sei Kim from the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech have developed a mathematical model that relates BCG to systemic arterial blood pressure and flow. The expression for the cardiac force acting on the body was derived in terms of systemic arterial blood pressure and flow via Reynolds Transport Theorem and Newton’s 3rd Law.
Proof of concept studies show that the pressure gradient in the systemic arteries is the primary mechanism responsible for the genesis of force BCG. The model enhances the fundamental understanding of BCG and enables its use as a non-invasive and low-cost screening tool for vascular disease.
Potential Commercial Applications: The method could be implemented into medical and healthcare devices and equipment that screen and assess diseases in the heart and the arteries. It may also be integrated as a feature of embedded medical devices for everyday life and wearable activity trackers.
Benefits / Advantages:
Enhances fundamental understanding of BCG, including the physical mechanism of its genesis and the implication of its key waves
Makes it possible to interpret the BCG to deduce the integrity of the cardiac functions
Enables the use of BCT as a non-invasive and low-cost screening tool for vascular disease