A method for computing optimal hold down pressure for a transducer comprising an array of pressure sensing elements for generation of electrical waveforms indicative of blood pressure in an artery. Using the selected pressure sensing element that is determined to be positioned substantially over the center of the underlying artery, a set of data corresponding to the diastolic pressure and the pulse amplitude pressure is collected and stored. The diastolic pressures and pulse amplitude pressures are taken as a function of hold down pressure over a range of hold down pressures between the pressure at which the artery is unflattened and the pressure at which the artery is occluded. First and second polynomials are fitted to the diastolic pressure data set and the pulse amplitude data set, respectively. The hold-down pressure at the point of minimum slope of the first polynomial fitted to the diastolic versus hold-down pressures values provides one estimate of the correct hold-down pressure. Another estimate of the correct hold-down pressure using the pulse amplitude measurements is provided by locating the point where the slope of the second polynomial is zero. In another embodiment of the method of the present invention, the two above described estimates are combined into a single estimate.
Dennis J. Wenzel; Dean C. Winter; Kevin S. Honeyager