Researchers Use Millimeter-wave Radar Technology to Remotely Monitor Vital Health Parameters of Patients

Kyoto University and Panasonic Corporation have developed a new remote sensing technology for vital signs such as heart rate, heartbeat interval and others parameters. The technology is based on a highly sensitive spread-spectrum radar and feature-based heartbeat interval estimation algorithm, that allows for the measurement of heart rate and its intervals in real time without placing sensors on the body with accuracy similar to electrocardiographs.

This technology allows for the development of "casual sensing” - taking measurements as people go about their daily activities, for instance, when they are going to bed or getting ready to start the day. Taking measurements with sensors on the body can be troublesome, as one has to stop what they are doing. This new approach allows monitoring of the body in a casual and relaxed environment allowing people to easily monitor their health.

The remote sensing system combines millimeter-wave spread-spectrum radar technology and a unique signal analysis algorithm that identifies signals from the body. According to the team, heartbeats aren't the only signals the radar catches. The body sends out all sorts of signals at once, including breathing and body movement. Their algorithm differentiates all of that. It focuses on the features of waves including heart beats from the radar signal and calculates their intervals.

The research team hopes that the remote sensing system, with further experimentation, will be put to practical use in the near future. Now since they know that remote sensing is possible, they’ll need to make the measurement ability more robust so that the system can monitor subjects in various age ranges and in many different contexts.