ams introduces sensor reference design for blood pressure, vital signs for smart health and wearables

Premstaetten, Austria (25 April, 2018) -- ams (SIX: AMS), a leading worldwide supplier of high performance sensor solutions, today announced the release of the first integrated vital sign sensor reference design based on its AS7024.The solution can perform accurate, fast and convenient 24/7 cuffless blood pressure measurement.

The new vital signs sensor reference design based on AS7024 integrates all the hardware components, including the AS7024, as well as the software required to implement blood pressure measurement, heart-rate measurement (HRM), heart rate variability (HRV) and electrocardiograms (ECG). The AS7024 sensor IC includes three LEDs, photodiodes, an optical front end and sequencer for HRM, and an analog front end for ECG in a low-profile 6.1mm x 2.7mm package. The reference design also enables calculated measurements of vagal tone and arterial elasticity, as well as skin temperature and skin resistivity via interfaces to external sensors.

The AS7024’s small form factor is particularly well suited for fitness bands, smart watches, sports watches and smart patches, in which board space is limited. It also opens the door for vital sign monitoring to a wider range of form factors and end markets such as automotive or personal health monitoring.

The AS7024 HRM operation is based on photoplethysmography (PPG), a proven technique that measures the pulse rate by sampling light modulated by the blood vessels, which expand and contract as blood pulses through them. Electrocardiography is a standard method for measuring the electrical pulses generated by the sinoatrial node of the heart.

Proprietary software in the AS7024 reference design, which was developed in collaboration with a partner, analyzes synchronized HRM and ECG measurements to calculate blood pressure. The accuracy of the AS7024’s blood pressure measurements has been validated in a clinical trial carried out at the Medical University of Graz in Austria, according to IEEE standard for cuffless wearable devices.

The results produced by the reference design were compared to a reference measurement taken with surgical-grade cuffed blood pressure measurement equipment. Across a total of more than 1,000 measurements on more than 100 subjects between 18 and 65 years of age, the AS7024 reference design was proven to be accurate to <± 7.5 mmHg for systolic pressure and to <± 5.5 mmHg for diastolic pressure.

”The AS7024 reference design with its blood pressure measurement algorithm marks a breakthrough in the field of personal health monitoring technology,” said Thomas Riener, Executive Vice-President for Color & Spectral Sensing at ams. “Smart wearable devices that use the AS7024 will be able to offer 24/7 blood pressure measurement that is accurate and dependable enough for many use cases. This will significantly improve the user’s experience, freeing them from the inconvenience and discomfort of regular cuff measurements and providing continuous measurements of their blood pressure, heart rate and heart activity in real-world conditions.”

The AS7024 vital signs sensor is available now in production volumes. Unit pricing is <$2.00 for the sensor frontend IC in order quantities of 1 million pieces.

The reference design and evaluation board for the AS7024 is available on request from ams and authorized sales representatives. It includes an ams Simblee Bluetooth® wireless module for connectivity, wireless charging capability and a smartphone app which displays measurements of heart rate, blood pressure, vagal tone and arterial elasticity.

For more technical information about the AS7024 and for sample requests, please go to ams.com