The first contact-free sensing system in a chair that monitors vital signs has been approved by FDA. The Chair Sensor from EarlySense (Waltham, MA), which continuously monitors a patient's heart rate, respiratory function, and movement, received high marks from clinicians and users at the Coffee Regional Medical Center (Douglas, GA), where it was evaluated prior to receiving market clearance.
The system is based on the combination of a patented electromechanical sensing element and advanced digital signal processing algorithms. "The sensing element has a polycarbonate plate that acts as a passive mechanical antenna, which focuses the mechanical energy on a piezo-electric ceramic element embedded within," explains EarlySense CEO Avner Halperin. "The exact shape of the plate is what allows the sensor to detect the minute motions of the heart and lungs through a mattress or a pillow on which the patient is sitting. The engineers at EarlySense had to go through several generations of sensor and algorithm design in order to achieve FDA cleared medical-grade accuracies for the first time ever with a passive mechanical antenna detector," Halperin told PlasticsToday.