An electronic microchip that can read the respiratory rate of a person without coming in contact with the skin has been developed by scientists in Ireland.
The sensor microchip, with ultra-wide-band pulse radar, has an intense sensitivity to the minutest movements. Using short pulses towards the chest the chip detects the echo that is reflected back. This is the first time that such ultra-wide-band pulse radar has been integrated into a single silicon chip.
The research team at Tyndall National Institute at University College feels that the new chip can be used for monitoring of respiratory patterns in ICUs and postoperative units, prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and for a warning system that would notice car drivers falling asleep. It can also be used in monitoring patients at home with the information being sent to their doctors and hospitals. Besides helping out in fitness monitoring and a tailored healthcare program, the microchip can be used for non-medical use too.