Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems
- Application of an ECG-Vital device.
Systems for the measurement and monitoring of vital body functions such as cardiovascular function, temperature, blood pressure and breathing, movement or weight have been extensively tested as stationary systems in modern medicine, for older people requiring care, as well as in the sports, recreational, fitness and wellness areas.
To enable mobile applications over extended time periods, Fraunhofer IPMS is developing compact devices with integrated sensors, sensor-near signal processing and wireless data transmission for ist clients, which capture and wirelessly transmit vital parameters such as ECG, pulse wave transmission time, breathing frequency and movements. They are integrated into telemedical networks via mobile phones, WLAN or gateways in the home environment. Fraunhofer IPMS is a global leader in the area of signal processing algorithms for ECG preliminary analysis and for the recording of movement activities, which can be implemented into portable systems.
Competencies range from the development of special circuits to the design and implementation of complete system solutions. The development of special ASICs may be useful in cases that require extremely low energy consumption or miniaturization. Fraunhofer IPMS has the know-how and also the CAD tools and IPs for the development of such ASICs. Most systems contain micro-controllers or micro-processors for which the necessary firmware can be developed if requested by the client.
Current Research Topics
- 24-hour ECG with external electrodes.
- The functions are selected by pressing the particular button on the touchscreen of the mobility assistent.
- Smartphone with app for indoor navigation.
For recording of a 3-channel ECG the medical device „SmartVital“ has been developed. A movement sensor also records the activity at the same time. Based on the type and intensity of the movement an activity profile is created, which is used for diagnostic analysis purposes. In addition, movement data is also used to assess the signal quality. Initial important analysis values can already be calculated in the device on the basis of continuous and immediate signal processing. Data is transmitted to a gateway via Bluetooth. The device suitable for medical supervision at home.
Supporting the Mobility of Elderly People
For the purpose of offering targeted support to elderly people to maintain mobility, Fraunhofer IPMS has developed a system design for a mobility assistant that offers better functionality than conventional senior or emergency mobile phones but is still easy to operate. The design is based on a watch, which leads to a reduced stigmatizing effect. Emergency call function, sending messages to trusted persons, navigation support for finding the way home, automatic calls for taxis, memory and dosage function for taking medication, display of medication taken and patient files or fall detection help older people gain a sense of security when they leave their home.
Large medical facilities can often be likened to labyrinths. It is not only difficult to find one's way around as a visitor. Even understanding operational processes with mobile equipment and personnel has become a challenge. For this reason Fraunhofer IPMS developed an indoor navigation system to localize technical instruments and personnel, as well as to get visitors to their destination quickly and easily. The system was designed for smartphones and tablet PCs, a WLAN network forms the technical basis.