The DEPART Device: A Continuous Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor; Emerging Ways to Help Prevent, Diagnose, and Treat Concussions in the NFL

Paul, Kiersten, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Elliott, Travis, University of Virginia
Parker, Eugene, Barron Associates

The technical report of this STS portfolio will discuss a capstone project that was completed by a group of fourth year biomedical engineering undergraduates. The goal of this project was to test the DEPART System, a continuous ambulatory blood pressure monitor developed by Barron Associates located in Charlottesville, VA. Data was collected using the DEPART system and a baseline device and was analyzed using regression models in Matlab. The technical portion of this paper examines the methods and results of the testing of the device. The technical portion also addresses challenges faced by the team due to COVID-19 as well as areas that future teams could build upon.

In the United States, 45 percent of adults have hypertension, or high blood pressure. This condition attributes to nearly 500,000 deaths a year because it leads to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. Studies have shown that the most accurate blood pressure measurements are both ambulatory and self-monitoring. However, current devices on the market are expensive and difficult for patients to use in home settings. Barron Associates has developed a continuous blood pressure monitoring device with the possibility for self-monitoring and ambulatory use. Technology has advanced rapidly in the 21st century and many new technologies have been used to help treat patients. This idea led to the STS portion of this portfolio. Instead of focusing on hypertension, the STS portion of this portfolio focuses on concussions, specifically concussions in athletes in the National Football League (NFL). The paper use the Social Construction of Technology to look at how different stakeholders interact when adopting new technologies that can be used to diagnose and prevent concussions in the NFL.

The STS portion of this paper focuses on different technologies that can be used to diagnose and prevent concussions in the NFL. Some technologies are already widely in use and have been adopted in all levels of sports, while others are new and are still emerging. This STS paper examines technologies while looking at how different stakeholders in the NFL will view their adoption in accordance with the SCOT framework. The paper also looks at barriers that a new technology will face before being widely adopted through looking at the opinions of different stakeholders. The paper concludes that while concussions will never be able to be fully eliminated from football, more awareness about new technologies can help decrease incidence and help improve diagnosis of concussions. Technology has to stabilize and come to a closure before it can be widely adopted, and the paper concludes that one way this can be achieved is through further awareness of new technologies based on previous precedent.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
biomedical engineering, hypertension, continuous ambulatory blood pressure, pulse arrival time, differential pulse arrival time, nfl

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering
Technical Advisor: Eugene Parker
STS Advisor: Sean Travis Elliott
Technical Team Members: Kayla Craig, Alex Duerre, Elayna Render

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