London, Feb 5 : Heart patients will soon not have to contend with painful ECG leads, for a Doppler radar has been introduced to monitor the tiniest chest movements caused by breathing and even the beating of the heart.
The radar works just like a road-speed radar systems. It bounces off a radio wave off the chest and measure any change in frequency caused by chest movement.
This technique can prove to be a very useful tool as it facilitates the monitoring of patients from a distance without fitting them with ECG leads. The device is even capable of recording a heartrate through a person's clothing.
However, there is one hassle in proper monitoring of the heart as the signals can be swamped easily due to noise caused by small movements of the patient or of other people around them, for example in a busy hospital ward.
But, Olga Boric-Lubecke, an electrical engineer at the University of Hawaii, US, has found a way to solve such problems.
Her colleagues have assisted her in developing a radar device fitted with many transmitters and receiving antennas to create multiple signals that can be picked up and processed in order to remove any random noise from other sources of movement.
The researchers examine the signals that have been created by a computer to separate the various movements of a patient, including their heart beat and breathing pattern.