Center for Telecommunication Circuits and Systems (C1) Proposal #1127956 Proposal #1127926

This proposal seeks funding for the Center for Telecommunication Circuits and Systems (C1) located at the University of Hawaii site and the Arizona State University site, respectively. Requests for Fundamental Research are authorized by an NSF approved solicitation, NSF 10-601. The solicitation invites I/UCRCs to submit proposals for support of industry-defined fundamental research.

This proposal requests NSF funding to develop a novel low-cost and highly integrated microwave based vital signs monitoring device, namely a "microwave stethoscope," that can continuously collect human vital sign data with minimal discomfort to the patient. The vital signs to be measured include the heart rate, breathing rate, stroke volume, and lung water content. The estimation of water distribution in the lungs is also proposed through the use of an array of such applicators with the proper development of array digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms. The development of such a microwave sensor together with the compact, low-cost, low power receiver circuitry and the associated DSP algorithms will allow the mobile use of the device and open broad areas of applications in healthcare patient monitoring, screening of school students, as well as variety of military applications.

Successful completion of this project will enable improving healthcare in remote and under privileged communities, and in supporting a variety of in-field and emergency military applications. The developed hardware platform can be an investigative tool for further illness diagnosis. This project will enable use of millimeter wave integrated circuits for high accuracy monitoring of human health, and provides a new diagnosis tool to a wide array of medical doctors including epidemiologists, pediatricians, and family physicians.

Project Report

This project resulted in the development of an innovative approach for monitoring vital signs and measuring changes in lung water content. This is a critically important measurement for the early detection of heart failure as well pulmonary and cardiac abnormalities. Specific achievements include the development of a textile electromagnetic energy coupler that matches well when in contact with human skin, DSP algorithms for extracting vital signs including cardiac output, breathing rate, and stroke volume, and the development of a low cost transceiver for making these measurement and wirelessly transmitting data to mobile wireless devices, and stroke volume as well as changes in lung water content from a single microwave signal measurement A new collaborative effort with Queen's Medical Center was established and a new NIH grant of carrying out medical trials for obtaining FDA approval towards the commercialization of this technology are presently underway. The anticipated commercialization of this device through the new start-up company MiWa Technologies, LLC will have significant impact on job creation as well as significant impact on health care technologies particularly in the early detection and effective mediation of heart failure disease. The following is URL for the web site leading to the articles that was publiushed in the Discovery section of the NSF web site.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP)
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Lawrence A. Hornak
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University of Hawaii
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