CP-Stethoscope: A Non-invasive Sensor for Vital Signs Monitoring and Measuring Changes in Lung Water Content
The importance of lung water measurements hardly needs justification since congestive heart failure, pulmonary edema and sleep apnea are associated with changes in lung water content. Currently used methods, rely on surrogate and sometimes invasive techniques to quantify the lung water content leading to late diagnosis, extended hospital stays, and increased readmission rates. Besides the importance of making these continuous measurements in typical surgical settings, the significant growth in the field of homecare and Telemedicine opened yet another market segment in which this integrated vital signs and lung water content measurements would be highly desirable.

To address these measurement needs, our group at University of Hawaii is developing a novel low-cost, integrated radio frequency based vital signs monitoring device, namely the "Cardio-Pulmonary (CP) Stethoscope". CP-Stethoscope can continuously and non-invasively monitor the changes in lung water content together with other vital signs such as heart rate, respiration rate, and EKG-like waveform. CP-Stethoscope is attached to the chest like a typical EKG-lead (as seen in Fig. 1)

Fig. 1     

The CP-Stethoscope consists of three main components, including; an innovative broadband radio-frequency sensor, an advanced digital signal processing (DSP) algorithm for vital sign parameter extraction and the low-cost integrated receiver equipped with Bluetooth link for wireless data transmission. The CP-Stethoscope measurement has been studied and validated through computer simulations, phantom experiments, and also verified using human, animal, and isolated lung experiments. See Figs. 2 and 3.         
Fig. 2                                                                                                                              Fig. 3

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