Posts Tagged ‘medical’

Sensors Predicting The Future – Elderly Persons Fall Prediction and Detection with Kinect, Webcams and Microphones

September 9th, 2016 No comments

Wearables can be used your young children or elderly persons to monitoring their locations or health, and one use case, especially for old age persons, is to detect falls. However, it’s quite possible they don’t like it and/or not always wear it, so the Center for Eldercare and Technology of the University of Missouri designed a system based on Microsoft Kinect, two webcams, and microphones in order to detect falls, and even predict falls by analyzing gait, i.e. the pattern of movement of the limbs.

fall_detection_and_prevention-kinect_microphones_webcamsThe picture above shows at least part of the hardware setup with the Kinect, a webcam, and a PC  tower doing the processing stored in a cupboard.

Fall detection algorithms are relying on the microphone array, Microsoft Kinect depth camera, and a two-webcam system used to extract silhouettes from orthogonal views and construct a 3D voxel model for analysis. Passive gait analysis algorithms are for their part taking data from the kinect and the two-webcam system. The system was installed in 10 apartment, with data gathered for a period of 2 years, and they found that a gait speed decline of 5cm/s was associated with an 86.3% probability of falling within the following three weeks, and that shortened stride length was associated with a 50.6% probability of falling within the next three weeks.

You can see Gait detection in action in the video below.

More details about the studies and links to research papers can be found on Active Heterogeneous Sensing for Fall Detection and Fall Risk Assessment page on the University of Missouri website.

Via Electronics Weekly

Project OWL Open Source Hardware Ophthalmoscope is 25 Times Cheaper than Commercial Products

August 12th, 2016 4 comments

Medical grade equipments are usually very expensive, partly because of their complexity, but also because of certifications,   legal reasons, and low manufacturing volumes. That’s where open source hardware can make a big difference, and there has been several open source hardware prosthetic hands or arms such as Openbionics hand, but Ebin Philip and his team has tackled another issue with Project OWL, an open indirect ophthalmoscope (OIO) designed for screening retinal diseases, which normally costs between $10,000 to $25,000, but their open source hardware design can be put together for about $400.


The design features a Raspberry Pi 2 board connected to a WaveShare 5″ Touchscreen LCD, a Raspberry Pi Pi IR Camera (M12 lens mount) with 16mm FL M12 lens, a 3 Watt Luxeon LED, two 50x50mm mirrors, a linear polarizer sheet, a 20 Dioptre disposable lens, and various passive components.


OIO (OWL) Prototype development

While the Raspberry Pi board is not open source hardware itself, Ebin has shared the CAD files for the design, as well as the schematics and gerber files for the RPi shield used in the project on, where you’ll also find some details about the project log. Assembly instructions are currently missing however. One of the software side, the image are processed through OpenCV to remove background image and reflections.

The main goal of the project is to detect retina problems on diabetic patients in rural areas:

Currently there are over 422 million people worldwide suffering from diabetes. 28.5% of them suffer from Diabetic Retinopathy. 50% of diabetics are unaware about the risk of losing their vision. The number of cases of diabetic retinopathy increased from 4 million in 2000 to 7.69 million in 2010 in US alone. Early detection and Treatment can help prevent loss of vision in most cases.

Detection of Diabetic Retinopathy, requires expensive devices for Retinal Imaging , even the cheapest of them costing more than $9000 each. This makes good quality eyecare, expensive and inaccessible to the less privileged. The key idea in the development of OIO (code-named Project OWL) is to provide an affordable solution to help identify DR and hence prevent cases of “avoidable blindness”.

I’m unclear whether this tool is also appropriate for other tests such as dilated fundus examination, or to check the optical nerves for glaucoma patients, etc…. But if it can be used or adapted for such purposes the implications would even better greater.

TW68 Smart Bracelet Measures Blood Pressure and Heart Rate for $22 and Up

August 8th, 2016 5 comments

Some people may need to frequently measure their blood pressure because of their health condition, but it’s often a cumbersome experience, so they may get lazy, and not do it as often as needed. TW68 smart bracelet should make this easy, as it’s your typical fitness tracker with an heart rate monitor, but adding the capability to also measure blood pressure. It’s also very cheap, and I first found it on DealExtreme where it sells for just $24.

TW68TW68 specifications:

  • MCU – Nordic Semi NRF51822 ARM Cortex M0 micro-controller with 2.4 GHz radio
  • Data Storage – 7 days detailed data, 23 days total data
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • Display – 0.49″ OLED display
  • Sensors –  PixArt-PAH8001EI blood pressure sensor; 6-axis Invensense-MPU6500 accelerometer and gyroscope
  • Function Health tracker: Blood pressure measurement, Heart rate monitor, Pedometer, Sleep tracker
  • Other functions: Call/Message notification, Fall reminder, Social sharing, Time, Alarm clock
  • Misc – Vibrator, touch button
  • Battery – 60 mAh LiPo battery good for 7 to 15 days; charge time: around 1h30; magnetic charging
  • Dimensions – Watch face: 41.1 x 18.5 x 11.9mm; silicon strap: 240 x 20.8 x 11.9mm
  • Weight – 25 grams
  • IP Rating – IP65 (waterproof while washing hands)

The smartband is sold with its custom USB charging cable, and a user’s manual. The provided app is compatible with Android 4.4+ and iOS 7.1+ smartphones. I’ve been told that the blood pressure data is not shown directly on the watch, so you’ll need to initiate and read the measurement with your Android smartphone or iPhone, which is not as convenient as it could be.


This all still looks pretty good, but based on my disappointing experiences with optical heart rate monitors on most Chinese smartwatches and trackers, except possibly with Energympro EP-SH09 (not perfect but usable), I have serious doubts about the heart rate monitor accuracy, let alone the blood pressure claims.  If you look at the product description on DX, the manufacturer claims the measurements are very close to professional equipments… But the embedded Pixart “blood pressure sensor” is actually an heart rate monitor, and the sensor manufacturer only claims heart rate capabilities, nothing about blood pressure.

Finally, if you look at the upcoming and FDA approved Omron BP6000 professional blood pressure watch it is designed with a small motor that will gently squeeze your wrist while taking measurements, something that TW68 won’t do. So it’s most likely a toy than anything else. The demo from Tinydeal below shows the accessories and some of the capabilities of the bracelet, except of course HRM and BP…

If you’d still like to play with it, beside DX, you can also buy it on GeekBuying, Aliexpress, Amazon US and Tinydeal for $22 to $30 shipped.

Intrinsyc Open-Q 600 Single Board Computer is Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 Processor

January 29th, 2016 4 comments

Intrinsyc has released several Qualcomm Snapdragon development kits and system-on-modules over the last few years, and the company has now unveiled their first single board computer with Open-Q 600 SBC powered by Snapdragon 600 quad core processor with 2GB RAM and 16GB eMMC flash.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Open-Q 600 specifications:

  • SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 (APQ8064) quad core Krait 300 processor @  1.7GHz with 2MB L2 cache, Adreno 320 GPU, and Hexagon QDSP6V4 DSP
  • System Memory – 2GB PCDDR3 RAM @ 533MHz; dual channel 32-bit
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC 4.5 flash, micro SD card slot
  • Video Output / Display I/F – HDMI 1.4a port for up to 1080p @ 60Hz, 2-lane MIPI-DSI connector
  • Audio – HDMI, 3.5mm stereo headset output with mono input, 3.5mm Mic line in; Qualcomm WCD9311 audio codec
  • Camera – 2-lane MIPI-CSI connector supporting  8 MP camera up to WXGA resolution @ 60 fps
  • Connectivity
    • Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45) via Qualcomm AR8151 Gigabit Ethernet controller
    • 802.11 a/b/g/n 2×2 dual-band WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 (Qualcomm QCA6234) with two antenna connectors
    • GPS/Glonass via Qualcomm IZat Gen8C (Qualcomm WGR7640) GNSS receiver with one antenna connector
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x Micro USB 2.0 OTG port
  • Expansion – 2x digital IO configurable ports with I2C, SPI, UART, GPIO (I can’t find it on the board unless it is shared with the DSI connector)
  • Debugging – 4-pin 1.8V UART debug connector, 20-pin JTAG connector
  • Power Supply – 5V DC input; Qualcomm PMM8920 PMIC
  • Dimensions – 90 x 85mm

Click to Enlarge

The company supports Android 5.1 Lollipop and Linux for the board, but access to the image, source code, and full documentation requires login with the serial number of your boards. Potential application for OEMs include robotics, medical devices, and industrial applications.


Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Intrinsic sells for the board for $165 + shipping, and more information can be found on Open-Q 600 SBC page once you’ve bought the board…

Via LinuxGizmos

Omron Project Zero BP6000 is Both a Blood Pressure Monitor and a Smartwatch

January 6th, 2016 13 comments

Many smartwaches or fitness trackers include an heart rate monitor, but instead many people need to monitor their blood pressure to make sure it’s not too high (hypertension) or low (hypotension). Usually this involves either going to the doctor, or doing measurements at home with a blood pressure monitor by placing a cuff on the upper arm, and in this should take a short time, but many people may still not want to bother with the procedure. So Omron has designed a new blood pressure monitor that looks like a large smartwatch, and includes the same function as fitness monitors, in order to simply the process further, and have more people regularly measure their blood pressure.

Omrom_P6000_Blood_Pressure_MonitorTechnical details about Project Zero wrist blood pressure monitor (BPM) are not fully available yet, but we do now the company is going through FDA approval, so contrary to gadgets with heat rate monitors whose measurements can not be fully trusted, it will be reliable and accurate at +/- 3mm Hg per hear beat. When you take a measurement, the wrist band will slightly squeeze your wrist. just like when using a cuff. The device will also remind users to take medication and record the time they take to improve. Omron BPM will also be compatible with Omron Connect mobile app, available for Android and iOS, which can share information with a personal physician.

Wearable_Blood_Pressure_MonitorThe watch will also track your sleep, measure your heart rate, count your steps, estimate the calories you’ve burnt through the day, the distance walked, and… display the time of the day. The company has also developed project zero upper arm blood pressure monitor (P7000 model) integrating a display and Bluetooth Smart connectivity. Charbax interviewed the company, and filmed both devices with the part about P6000 starting at 2:50.

Eventually more details should surface on Omron Project Zero page. Both products should become available late 2016, and sell for less than $200.


Samsung S3FBP5A Bio-Processor Targets Fitness Tracking Wearables

December 30th, 2015 No comments

We now have many wearables capable of monitoring your activities, be it smartwatches or fitness tracker, and usually they are comprised of several small sensor chips, a low power micro-controller, a Bluetooh radio, and possibly some other ICs . Samsung has been designing and just launched a bio-processor to regroup most of those features into a single chip which should only require a fourth of the area required by current multi-chip solutions.


While the press release did not mention the part number, the included picture – shown above – sort of gave a clue, and Samsung S3FBP5A bio-processor has the following specifications:

  • MCU – ARM Cortex-M4
  • Memory – 256 KB RAM
  • Storage – 512 KB flash
  • DSP
  • Sensors – 5 Analog frontends (AFEs) measuring:
    • PPG (photoplethysmography)
    • ECG (electrocardiography)
    • Skin temperature
    • BIA (bioelectrical impedance analysis)
    • Galvanic skin response (GSR)
  • I/Os – SPI, I2C
  • PMIC
  • Security units

The sensors will enable measurements of body fat, skeletal muscle mass, heart rate, heart rhythm, skin temperature and stress level in a single chip. The company  also mentioned several wearable reference platforms are now available including wrist band, board and patch type reference devices, but did not provide any details.

Samsung S3FBP5A Bio-Processor is currently in mass production, and should be found in devices in H1 2016. You can visit Samsung S3FBP5A bio-processor page for not that many extra details.

Via Liliputing.

Forget Wearables, Ingestibles are Coming! Meet BodyCap e-Celsius Performance Pill

December 7th, 2015 3 comments

In recent years, wearables such as fitness tracker have become popular to monitor the number of steps walked, calories burnt, and distance covered during your daily activities. These products are not always accurate however, and it get better data instead of having your wear a monitoring device, companies such as BodyCap are working on ingestibles, pills that some electronics, that the user swallows, and tranmit accurate data at a short range.


One of the first product from the company is e-Celsius Performance that aims to measure body temperature of athletes, in order to optimize their performance. The pill has the following technical specifications:

  • Data
    • Storage – Up to one year, and up to 2000 samples
    • Sampling – 30 seconds
    • Accuracy – 0.2°C
  • Connectivity – Wireless transmission (433 MHz); up to 1 meter range
  • Battery – Not sure, but it can last 20 days
  • Weight: 1.7g
  • Dimensions – 17.7mm x 8.9 mm
  • Operational range – 25°C to 45°C
Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The pills come with a kit comprised of an activator to start temperature measurement, a memory stick with Windows software and documentation, a power adapter with a Y USB cable, and eViewer performance monitor to gather and display data transmitted from the pills. The company tried the pills on 10 footballers in September to help them improve pitch performance overtime, and you can see the temperature measures for a player during the two halves for two matches, as well as its evolution before, after and at half time.


You can find more details on BodyCap’s e-Celsius Performance pill including a quick start guide, and user’s manual.

Via Element14 Community

Categories: Hardware Tags: ingestibles, medical, wearables

AMS AS7000 Biosensor is Designed for Strapless Optical Heart Rate Monitors

October 5th, 2015 No comments

Heart rate monitors (HRM) with chest straps are now being replaced by more comfortable strapless HRM, such as UWatch UX. These products are enabled by photoelectric sensors that sample light modulated by blood vessels, which expand and contract as blood pulses through them. One of such solutions is the recently introduced AMS AS7000 including a Cortex M0 core, and a DSP implementing algorithm to process raw photoplethysmography (PPG) readings from the sensors to convert them into digital HRM and HRV (Heart Rate Variability) values.

AS7000 Block Diagram

AS7000 Block Diagram

Highlights of AS7000 Biosensor:

  • MCU – ARM Cortex M0 with 4KB RAM, 32 KB EEPROM
  • I/Os – 9 GPIOs, UART, SPI, I2C
  • Analog electrical and optical Frontends
  • Hardware sequencer
  • Synchronous detector
  • Integrated LEd driver with current control
  • Optical filters
  • Supply Voltage – 2.6 – 3.6V
  • Temperature Range –30 to 70°C
  • Package – 18 pins

AS7000 can deliver greater accuracy when it is paired with an external accelerometer, as algorithms can filter out motion artifacts, and maintain high accuracy whether the user is resting or exercising. While the chip is well suited to fitness bands, smart watches, and sports watches requiring several days of battery life, it can also be used in medical sensors, chemical sensors, handheld point-of-care devices, and industrial sensors.

Development Kit

AS7000 Demo Kit

Two evaluation platform are available:

  • AS7000 Demo Kit – Complete kit with a display board with PIC microcontroller, a Bluetooth module with a lithium battery, AS7000 and an accelerometer mounted inside a small wristband.
  • AS7000 Retrofit board  – AS7000 biosensor mounted together with an accelerometer, and cabling that you can somehow use with an existing fitness band.

Both kits comes with a software development kit (SDK), software documentation, and a GUI software allowing users to update AS7000 firmware, as well as the display board board in the case of the demo kit. HRM and HRV readings can be uploaded to an Android smartphone or tablet over a Bluetooth connection.

The AS7000 is available for sampling now, with price starting at $6 per unit for 1,000 pieces orders. The kits’ pricing is only available on request. You may want to visit AMS AS7000 product page for more details.

Via Electronics Weekly