Scientists from Tyndall National Institute at University College Cork in Ireland developed an electronic microchip that can detect a person’s respiratory rate without having to make contact with the skin. The team believes the new chip can be used for monitoring of respiratory patterns in ICUs and postoperative units, prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and for a warning system that would notice car drivers falling asleep.
More about the technology from the press release:
The sensor technology also enables several other important applications such as facilitating patients in being monitored in their home, with data sent in real-time to GPs and first-aid medical staff in hospitals. It can also be used for fitness (fatigue) monitoring and personalised healthcare for independent and healthy living. In spite of its applications to the biomedical field, the microchip sensor can be applied to other civil applications requiring contactless detection of moving objects.
The sensor microchip consists of ultra-wide-band pulse radar, capable of detecting sub-centimeter movements. The radar sends very short pulses towards the chest and detects the echo reflected in proximity of the skin. The output signal provided by the sensor is therefore sensitive to the chest movement. This is the first time that such an ultra-wide-band pulse radar has been integrated into a single silicon chip.