GE research develops low-cost wireless medical sensing device

March 13th, 2009 - 8:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, March 13 (IANS) General Electric’s (GE) global research lab has developed an intelligent wireless medical sensing device to improve neonatal and home patient monitoring, the industrial major said Friday.
“Our researchers have developed signal processing algorithms for a wireless sensor that can classify different types of motion and monitor a person’s breathing and heart rate. The sensor can also monitor premature babies in a neonatal intensive care unit,” the US-based firm said in a statement here.

Since premature infants have sensitive and fragile skin, which makes it difficult to directly attach sensors to them, the new sensor can wirelessly monitor an infant’s movements, including breathing and heart rate.

Similarly, the sensor can be installed in a home for the care of the elderly care or other outpatient monitoring.

The research was undertaken through a grant from the US-based National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ) sensors and surveillance group.

“We have built a sophisticated brain for an existing GE sensor that can tell whether someone is moving or motionless and whether an individual is breathing or not breathing,” said Jeffrey Ashe, GE global research and principal investigator.

The sensing technology can enable new applications in elder and outpatient care, besides remote monitoring of the health and well-being of a patient and loved one.

GE’s wireless sensing research is part of the company’s ‘Early Health’ initiative, which is focused on enabling earlier diagnosis and effective treatments of disease and other health-related issues.

“The hope is to spot symptoms or potential problems at earlier stages, perhaps even before the patient realises a health issue exists. Having a sensing device that can wirelessly track a person’s vital signs in the home is just the kind of tool that can help create this type of care environment,” the statement added.

GE’s global research labs, including its largest multidisciplinary research and development facility Jack F. Welch Technology Centre in Bangalore, develop breakthrough innovations in areas such as medical imaging, energy generation technology, jet engines and lighting.

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