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'Life and activity monitor' provides portable, constant recording of vital signs

Date:
February 1, 2012
Source:
Oregon State University
Summary:
Researchers have developed a type of wearable, non-invasive electronic device that can monitor vital signs such as heart rate and respiration at the same time it records a person's activity level, opening new opportunities for biomedical research, diagnostics and patient care.

This small device, only about two inches wide, can monitor vital signs while being worn outside the body.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Oregon State University

Researchers have developed a type of wearable, non-invasive electronic device that can monitor vital signs such as heart rate and respiration at the same time it records a person's activity level, opening new opportunities for biomedical research, diagnostics and patient care.

The device is just two inches wide, comfortable, does not have to be in direct contact with the skin and can operate for a week without needing to be recharged. Data can then be downloaded and assessed for whatever medical or research need is being addressed.

The technology has been reported at a professional conference, and research is continuing to make it even smaller and less costly.

"When this technology becomes more miniaturized and so low-cost that it could almost be disposable, it will see more widespread adoption," said Patrick Chiang, an assistant professor of computer engineering at Oregon State University. "It's already been used in one clinical research study on the effects of micronutrients on aging, and monitoring of this type should have an important future role in medicine."

Called a "life and activity monitor," the system uses different sensors to detect heart rate, respiration, movement and similar vital signs. It will provide doctors, researchers and clinicians a continuous flow of data over time, reduce the need for more frequent office visits, and ultimately provide better care at lower cost.

The system was developed by scientists and engineers at Oregon State University and the University of California at San Diego.

Final designs of the technology may be as small as a disposable bandage, researchers say.

Reference: Albright, R. K., Goska, B. J., Hagen, T. M., Chi, M. Y., Cauwenbergh, G., & Chiang, P. Y. (2011, August-September). OLAM: a wearable, non-contact sensor for continuous heart-rate and activity monitoring. Paper presented at 33rd Annuall International Conference of the IEEE, Boston, MA. Retrieved January 26, 2012


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oregon State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Oregon State University. "'Life and activity monitor' provides portable, constant recording of vital signs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120201140010.htm>.
Oregon State University. (2012, February 1). 'Life and activity monitor' provides portable, constant recording of vital signs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120201140010.htm
Oregon State University. "'Life and activity monitor' provides portable, constant recording of vital signs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120201140010.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

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