Heart monitoring on the move

ESA developed a complex chest sensor for measuring astronauts’ blood oxygen levels, as part of its efforts to gather medical data on individuals in confined or extreme environments. Swiss company CESM transferred this sensor to a tiny unit embedded in a regular earphone. It makes use of infrared signals to measure how rapidly a patient’s heart is beating, which can be used via a normal smartphone. The miniaturised blood oxygenation estimation device has particular medical utility for the care of newborn babies, with other markets including high-altitude sports, top athletes, and homecare monitoring.

Last update: 13 November 2012

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