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Blood pressure wearable device challenge

20 June 2018
$50,000 in prizes to be awarded to the most promising technology solution
Current blood pressure measuring devices don't provide accurate long-term readings. The Westmead Applied Research Centre is supporting innovative research in the hope of solving this real-world problem.

Blood pressure wearable device challenge

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a highly prevalent chronic disease that affects a third of the Australian adult population. While treatments exist, achieving good blood pressure control is universally poor.

Blood pressure fluctuates by time of day, day of week and month of year. The most common currently used devices only measure blood pressure at a single point in time, require users to instigate the measure and don't measure blood pressure at night. Current ambulatory blood pressure monitoring devices often interrupt sleep and are only worn for 24 hours.

We need a better measurement device to assess what a person’s average blood pressure is over much longer periods of time. Accuracy at any single point in time is not as important as gaining a meaningful profile of day and night blood pressure over weeks and months. Such a device could provide clinicians with a clearer picture of patient blood pressure control and improve assessment and monitoring of treatment.

The Westmead Applied Research Centre (WARC) is a recently established multidisciplinary centre of the University that is committed to applying innovative research to solve real world health problems.

The centre is mounting the blood pressure wearable device challenge in 2 phases:

Phase 1 – concept and early prototype entrants

Winners will be awarded the following prizes:

  • 1st prize: $10,000 cash
  • 2nd prize: up to $5,000 cash and follow up support of three 1-hour mentoring sessions from industry experts.

Phase 2 – 'ready for validation' device entrants

To be announced in 2019. Entrants will provide devices for an independent validation study, testing long-term measurements against home blood pressure and ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.

Entrants will have the benefits of free, independent clinical evaluation services valued at over $100,000.

Register your interest in the challenge by Friday 10 August 2018 to warc.challenge@sydney.edu.au.

Expressions of interest should include:

  • Name of proposal
  • Background on team (up to 500 words)
  • Simple description of how the device will work of up to 250 words
  • Proposal of up to two pages, use of illustrations, figures and tables are permitted
  • Up to five references

Entry is open to persons who are:

  • over 18
  • a student, scientist, academic, entrepreneur, start-up or established company.

The submission will be based on the prospect that the final device will be able to:

  • Measures average blood pressure accurately – the device should be able to estimate average blood pressure that is within 5 mmHg of average blood pressures obtained from multiple measures taken by a home-blood pressure meter and from a 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure meter.
  • Be user friendly, for instance, the device enables blood pressure measurements during daily activities, has a good battery life.
  • Meet standard safety requirements (the assessment criteria will specifically be focussed on long-term average values, with no requirement for snapshot accuracy).

10 August 2018: Deadline to register for the challenge

1 November 2018: Deadline for detailed design submission (if applicable)

15 December 2018: Winners announced

  • Professor Clara Chow, Director Westmead Applied Research Centre
  • Dr Maulik Majmudar, Associate Director of the Healthcare Transformation Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School
  • Professor Anthony Rodgers, Acting Director of the Cardiovascular Division at The George Institute
  • Professor Neil Poulter, Honorary Consultant Physician and Epidemiologist at the Peart-Rose (Hypertension) Clinic at St Mary's Hospital, London
  • Professor Alistair McEwan, Ainsworth Chair of Technology and Innovation at Cerebral Palsy Alliance and the University of Sydney
  • Dr Antonio Penna, Director of the NSW Health Office of Health and Medical Research
  • Professor James Sharman, Deputy Director, Menzies Institute for Medical Research at the University of Tasmania

View the full terms and conditions of the competition.