FAU researchers develop procedure for touch-free monitoring of heart sounds
In conjunction with researchers at Brandenburg University of Technology (BTU) in Cottbus and the Department of Palliative Medicine at Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, electronic engineers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have developed a procedure for reliably detecting and diagnosing heart sounds using radar. In future, mobile radar devices could replace conventional stethoscopes and permanent touch-free monitoring of patients’ vital functions could be possible using stationary radar devices. The results have now been published in the renowned journal ‘Scientific Reports’ (‘Scientific Reports’: ‘Radar-Based Heart Sound Detection’, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-29984-5).
Along with a white coat, a stethoscope is the hallmark of doctors everywhere. Stethoscopes are used to diagnose the noises produced by the heart and lungs. Used in the conventional way, vibrations from the surface of the body are transmitted to a membrane in the chest-piece and then to the user’s eardrum where they are perceived as sounds. Acoustic stethoscopes are comparatively inexpensive and have been used reliably for several decades, but they have one drawback. The diagnosis of heart murmurs, such as the assessment of heart valve function, is carried out subjectively and is directly dependent on the experience of the doctor conducting the examination.
Radar can measure heart sounds
In a joint project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, FAU researchers at the Institute of Electronics Engineering (LTE) have now developed a procedure that could eventually replace conventional phonocardiology. Using a six-port continuous wave radar system, they measured the vibrations on the skin caused by the heartbeat. ‘In principle, we’re using a similar method to detecting speed in road traffic,’ explains Christoph Will, a doctoral candidate at LTE. ‘During this process, a radar wave is aimed at the surface of an object and reflected. If the object moves, the phase of the reflecting wave changes. This is used to calculate the strength and frequency of the movement – of the chest in our case.’ In contrast to radar systems for traffic monitoring, the biomedical radar system can detect changes in movement that measure a few micrometres, which is an important prerequisite to diagnosing even the smallest anomalies such as insufficiency, stenoses or heart valves that do not close properly.
As reliable as established measuring methods
Initial tests were very successful. The test patients were examined in various states of activity such as while resting and after sports and their heart sounds were detected. A direct comparison between the radar system and conventional standard instruments with a digital stethoscope and an electrocardiograph (ECG) showed a very high correlation. ‘While diagnosing S1, which is the first heart sound, for example, we achieved a correlation of 92 percent with the ECG,’ says Kilin Shi, who is also a doctoral candidate at LTE. ‘The correlation was 83 percent in a direct comparison of the signal shapes with the digital stethoscope. That’s absolutely reliable.’ The researchers say that the slight deviations are caused by the fact that measurements using the radar system and the reference systems cannot be carried out simultaneously on exactly the same place on the body. In addition, the radar system measures a surface area and not a single spot like the stethoscope, which is also a reason for the varying measurement values.
Touch-free and objective
The FAU researchers are optimistic that mobile radar systems could replace conventional stethoscopes in diagnosing heart function in the near future. A significant advantage offered by radar is the fact that the values are recorded digitally and are thus not subjective allowing human error to be increasingly ruled out during the diagnosis of anomalies or diseases. Using biomedical radar systems for automated prophylactic examinations for example in doctors’ waiting rooms, at work, or at home, is also feasible.
The researchers are already working on another project for monitoring the vital functions of patients who are seriously ill using stationary radar systems around the clock and without disruptive cables. ‘Touch-free and therefore stress-free measurement of vital parameters such as heart sounds has the potential to revolutionise clinical care and research, for example, in palliative medicine,’ explains Prof. Dr. Christoph Ostgathe, Head of Palliative Medicine at Universitätsklinikum Erlangen at FAU and co-author of the study. ‘For example, we could inform relatives of terminally ill patients more quickly at the beginning of the dying phase, as the radar system immediately detects any changes in patients’ health. It would also be possible to detect any painful symptoms in patients who cannot communicate’.
Learn more: Can radar replace stethoscopes?
The Latest on: Biomedical imaging
[google_news title=”” keyword=”biomedical imaging” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Biomedical imaging
- Even low Alcohol consumption during pregnancy modifies baby's brain structureon November 26, 2022 at 4:30 am
Changes in the brain were observed in the fetuses even at low levels of alcohol exposure. "Fetal MRI is a highly specialized and safe examination method that allows us to make accurate statements ...
- Drinking Even Low Amounts of Alcohol During Pregnancy Changes Baby’s Brain Structureon November 24, 2022 at 1:40 pm
Drinking alcohol even in low to moderate amounts during pregnancy can change the baby’s brain structure and delay brain development, according to a new MRI study. Next week at the annual meeting of ...
- Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can alter the baby's brain structureon November 22, 2022 at 6:28 am
A new MRI study revealed that consumption of alcohol even in low to moderate amounts during pregnancy can change the baby's brain structure and delay brain development.
- Drinking during pregnancy changes baby’s brain structureon November 22, 2022 at 2:16 am
A new MRI study revealed that consumption of alcohol even in low to moderate amounts during pregnancy can change the baby’s brain structure and delay brain development. Results of the study will be ...
- 2023 SPIE-Franz Hillenkamp postdoctoral fellowship awarded to Arutyun Bagramyanon November 21, 2022 at 4:00 pm
SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, has announced Arutyun Bagramyan, who received his PhD in physics and biomedical engineering from Laval University in 2020, as the winner of ...
- New MRI technique to enhance metabolic imagingon November 19, 2022 at 11:49 pm
Researchers from ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich are taking magnetic resonance imaging a step further. With their new method, they can visualise metabolic processes in the body. Their ...
- China's new biomedical imaging facilities to improve understanding of diseaseson November 14, 2022 at 7:38 pm
The construction of infrastructure for a big science biomedical imaging project in Beijing was officially completed, according to Peking University, which owns the facilities. This was reported by The ...
- PhD/MPhil Biomedical Imaging Scienceson November 14, 2022 at 8:24 am
We require applicants to hold, or be about to obtain, an Upper Second class Honours degree, or the equivalent qualification gained outside the UK, in a related subject area for entry to a PhD ...
- Global Photoacoustic Imaging Market Report 2022: Easy Implementation on Clinical Ultrasound Machines Facilitates Growthon November 4, 2022 at 10:47 am
Photoacoustic imaging is a non-invasive biomedical imaging technique that generates ultrasonic waves by irradiating a material with a pulsed laser and reconstructing an image of the tissue's light ...
via Bing News