A radar system developed at Canada’s University of Waterloo can wirelessly monitor the vital signs of patients, eliminating the need to hook them up to any machines.
Housed in a device smaller than a cellphone, the new technology records heart and breathing rates using sensitive radar waves that are analyzed by sophisticated algorithms embedded in an onboard digital signal processing unit.
Researchers developed the system to monitor sleep apnea patients by detecting subtle chest movements instead of connecting them to equipment in labs via numerous wires.
“We take the whole complex process and make it completely wireless,” says George Shaker, PhD, MASc, BASc, SMIEEE, an engineering professor at Waterloo, in a release. “And instead of a clinic, it could be done in the comfort of your own bed and run daily for continuous monitoring.”
In a study at the Research Institute for Aging, a facility affiliated with the university, the radar unit was mounted to the ceiling over the bed of more than 50 volunteers as they slept normally in a model long-term care apartment.
The system, which collects and