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Panasonic, Kyoto University Team Up on Remote Sensing Tech

Jan. 25, 2016

Panasonic and Kyoto University want to make it easier to monitor the vital signs of people on the go.

To that end, the two have developed a new remote sensing technology for vital signs — such as heart rate and heartbeat interval — all without placing sensors on the body. It works by combining millimeter-wave spread-spectrum radar technology and an analysis algorithm that identifies signals from the body.

"Heartbeats aren't the only signals the radar catches,” says Toru Sato, professor of communications and computer engineering at Kyoto University, in a prepared statement.  “The body sends out all sorts of signals at once, including breathing and body movement. It's a chaotic soup of information. Our algorithm differentiates all of that.”

As Hiroyuki Sakai, a researcher at Panasonic, notes in the release, going sensorless allows people to monitor their health in a relaxed environment. Further, it might encourage patients to be more proactive in monitoring their own vital signs. — Elizabeth Hollis