Researchers at TNO, the Dutch Institute for Applied Science, have developed a vital signs monitor for measuring body motion, heart rate and respiration wirelessly at a distance of up to 10 meters. The system was presented at a Quantified Self meetup in Amsterdam. It uses RADAR technology and allows continuous monitoring of motion, heart rate and respiration without the need for attaching sensors to the body. Radar pulses are emitted and reflected from the person (or cat) under observation. Based on the detection time and frequency of the reflected pulses, information can be derived about the movement of the body with a spatial resolution of up to 1mm. According to the presentation it may also be possible to estimate sleep cycles based on the measured parameters. The system is currently being trialled by TNO and further development is still required, however the team hopes to bring the system to market within the next 6-12 months.
Here’s video of the presentation with a great technical overview of the system and a demo of it being used to monitor a sleeping infant from a distance.
(hat tip: Quantified Self Blog)