In the context of a pandemic situation such as the one we are currently experiencing with COVID-19, the need for continuous, accurate, and real-time monitoring of the health conditions of groups at risk, such as the elderly, is crucial, due to the fast spread of the disease and the need to act quickly to contain its evolution. Continuous monitoring of vital signs, such as body temperature and cardio-pulmonary rates, can be crucial in early detection and prediction of the COVID-19 disease, that rapidly progress and particularly affect this population group.

Conventional clinical methods used for monitoring vital signs are contact-based, i.e. require the use of contact sensors that need to be precisely attached by a health professional, are less convenient for repeatable measurements, and not practical for long-duration monitoring. On the other hand, contactless vital signs monitoring using radar-based techniques, or IR-thermal imaging, do not require the attachment of physical electrodes and is of great value for the elderly population in the specific context of nursing houses, because it removes the need of using wires, being more comfortable and less invasive for the patients.

This project aims to design a low-cost contactless IoT edge device for real-time vital signs monitoring (cardio-pulmonary rates and body temperature) using a multimodal approach based on state-of-the-art Doppler radar techniques and IR thermal imaging. The device can be placed in nursing homes, above the beds where patients rest, allowing the continuous acquisition of data and its processing without any type of contact and invasiveness.

In the context of a pandemic situation such as the one we are currently experiencing with COVID-19, the need for continuous, accurate, and real-time monitoring of the health conditions of groups at risk, such as the elderly, is crucial, due to the fast spread of the disease and the need to act quickly to contain its evolution. Continuous monitoring of vital signs, such as body temperature and cardio-pulmonary rates, can be crucial in early detection and prediction of the COVID-19 disease, that rapidly progress and particularly affect this population group.

Conventional clinical methods used for monitoring vital signs are contact-based, i.e. require the use of contact sensors that need to be precisely attached by a health professional, are less convenient for repeatable measurements, and not practical for long-duration monitoring. On the other hand, contactless vital signs monitoring using radar-based techniques, or IR-thermal imaging, do not require the attachment of physical electrodes and is of great value for the elderly population in the specific context of nursing houses, because it removes the need of using wires, being more comfortable and less invasive for the patients.

This project aims to design a low-cost contactless IoT edge device for real-time vital signs monitoring (cardio-pulmonary rates and body temperature) using a multimodal approach based on state-of-the-art Doppler radar techniques and IR thermal imaging. The device can be placed in nursing homes, above the beds where patients rest, allowing the continuous acquisition of data and its processing without any type of contact and invasiveness.

Motivation

In Portugal, recent data have shown that the impact of the COVID-19 disease in the elderly population (70+) has a higher lethality rate, between 10% to 20% [1]. Another relevant indicator is the ratio of deaths of citizens 70+ years old when compared with the total number of deaths, which, taking into account data from the DGS Daily Report of 11/5/2020 [2], results in a ratio of 87% of the deaths in Portugal correspond to citizens with 70+ years old.

In addition, continuous monitoring of vital signs, such as body temperature and cardio-pulmonary rates, can be crucial in early detection and prediction of diseases, such as COVID-19, that rapidly progress and particularly affect this population group. Conventional clinical methods used for monitoring vital signs are contact-based, i.e. require the use of contact sensors that need to be precisely attached by a health professional, are less convenient for repeatable measurements, and not practical for long-duration monitoring. On the other hand, contactless vital signs monitoring using radar-based techniques do not require the attachment of physical electrodes not constraining the movement of the person and eliminating the possibility of skin irritation [3]. Moreover, the use of contactless radar-based techniques for vital signs monitoring is of great value for the elderly population in the specific context of nursing houses, because it removes the need of using wires, being more comfortable and less invasive for the patients.

[1] Público, 1000 mortos por COVID-19 em Portugal, 1/5/2020, URL: https://www.publico.pt/2020/05/01/infografia/mil-mortos-covid19-504

[2] Direcção Geral de Saúde, Relatório de Situação nº 070 | 11/05/2020, URL: https://covid19.min-saude.pt/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/70_DGS_boletim_20200511-2.pdf

[3] Kebe, M.; Gadhafi, R.; Mohammad, B.; Sanduleanu, M.; Saleh, H.; Al-Qutayri, M. Human Vital Signs Detection Methods and Potential Using Radars: A Review. Sensors 2020, 20, 1454.

Team

  • José Ferreira, Engº (Local Coordinator)
  • Igor Ferreira, Engº
  • João Milheiro, Engº
  • Francisco Pinto, Engº
  • Tiago Magalhães, Engº
  • André Martins, Engº
  • Nuno Borges de Carvalho, PhD (Local Coordinator)
  • Felisberto Pereira, PhD Candidate
  • José Manuel António Vieira, PhD
  • Vinicius Uchôa, PhD Candidate
  • Sérgio Ivan Lopes, PhD (Local Coordinator)
  • Carlos Abreu, PhD
  • Bruno Braga, BSc Student
  • Gabriel Queiroz, BSc Student
  • Pedro Pinho, PhD (Local Coordinator)
  • Paulo Marques, PhD
  • Fábio Silva, MSc Student
  • Rita Almeida, MSc Student
  • Helder Justino, MSc Student

Outcomes

Soon…

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