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We present a new type of non-contact sensor for use in ambulatory cardiac monitoring. The sensor operation is based on a microwave Doppler technique; however, instead of detecting the heart activity from a distance, the sensor is placed on the patient's chest over the clothing. The microwave sensor directly measures heart movement rather than electrical activity, and is thus complementary to ECG. The primary advantages of the microwave sensor includes small size, light weight, low power, low-cost, and the ability to operate through clothing. We present a sample sensor design that incorporates a 2.4 GHz Doppler circuit, integrated microstrip patch antenna, and microntroller with 12-bit ADC data sampling. The prototype sensor also includes a wireless data link for sending data to a remote PC or mobile phone. Sample data is shown for several subjects and compared to data from a commercial portable ECG device. Data collected from the microwave sensor exhibits a significant amount of features, indicating possible use as a tool for monitoring heart mechanics and detection of abnormalities such as fibrillation and akinesia.
Date of Conference: Aug. 31 2010-Sept. 4 2010