Wearable physiological-signal monitoring system based on cooperative sensors
CSEM is a private Swiss research and technology organization that delivers advanced technologies and unique R&D services to industry. CSEM has developed and patented a new way of measuring physiological signals which, compared to the state-of-the-art monitoring systems offers: 1) better ergonomics, 2) higher information content, 3) lower cost, 4) higher autonomy, and 5) best signal quality. Cooperative sensors are ideal for athletes, in- and outpatients, exposed workers, etc. This demonstrated technology is available for transfer and licensing to interested companies.
Cooperative sensors consist of autonomous units working in concert to measure physiological signals requiring distant sensing points, such as for instance ECG or impedance. They are embedded in and connected by a support garment (e.g., a vest).
This new approach allows comprehensive measurements of physiological signals during daily activities, including sleep. Cooperative sensors are ideal for instance for outpatients suffering from lung diseases (e.g., COPD) or heart diseases (e.g., CHF, arrhythmia, hyper/hypotension). They are also excellent for managing comorbidities, because the same sensors can simultaneously measure biopotential (e.g., ECG, EMG, EEG), impedance (e.g., EIT, respiration, GSR, hydration, fat), skin temperature and heat flux, core body temperature, SpO2, sounds (e.g., coughs, crackles, wheezes, snoring), and kinetics (e.g., physical activity and activity classes). Moreover, cooperative sensors can easily be deployed in large numbers (e.g., ?50) without significant increase of discomfort or integration difficulties, thus offering functional images. Finally, meta-signals such as NOBP (non-occlusive blood pressure, i.e., cuff-less) can be derived by advanced signal processing methods from the other measured signals.
Innovations & Advantages
The cooperative-sensor technology allows easy and effective integration of physiological-signal monitoring in smart garments because they require only one unshielded (possibly even non-insulated) conductive electrical connection without compromising with signal quality. Integration with the garment is easy and the sensor size depends only on the integration level and autonomy requirements. This contrasts with state-of-the-art solution where the electronics is centralized with miniaturization largely depending on cumbersome connectors used to connect several shielded cables converging from passive probes. With cooperative sensors, fully integrated wearable systems with very large number (e.g., ?50) of sensors can be considered for the first time.
Current and Potential Domains of Application
- Occupational medicine
- Drug trials