A team of electrical engineers from the University of Hawaii, using Doppler radar technology, have developed a novel algorithm for using sound waves to monitor heart rate and respirations.
In theory, the technique could be very useful since it allows a patient to be monitored from a distance without fitting them with ECG leads. It can even record a heart rate through a person’s clothing. But the signals can be easily swamped by noise caused by small movements of the patient or of other people around them, for example in a busy hospital ward.
Now Olga Boric-Lubecke, an electrical engineer at the University of Hawaii, US, has found a way to solve such problems.
She and colleagues have developed a radar device with several transmitters and receiving antennas that produce multiple signals that can be picked up and processed in a way that removes any random noise from other sources of movement.