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Radar-based vital signs measurement at 1 m away

Sykno vital signs thumbnail

When you think vital signs measurement, such as for breathing or heart monitoring, you would be forgiven for assuming that you need something to be touching the person being measured. Well, Sykno’s ViRa24 reference design turns that idea on its head…

At Embedded World 24, ipXchange met Fabian, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of an innovative company called Sykno, who are taking the accuracy of radar-based measurement to levels previously unseen on the market.

Their secret? They just know embedded radar design far better than your average engineer, and have worked with many chipsets and custom antenna/emitter configurations. But that specific innovation is for another time…

Radar-based vital signs monitoring

Today, ipXchange wants to focus on the ViRa24, a compact module that puts Sykno’s expertise to good use and can easily be interfaced with other systems for additional insights gained from the high accuracy of its measurements.

Sykno ViRa24 radar-based vital signs sensor

The key innovation of vital signs monitoring using radar is that you don’t need to attach anything to the ‘patient’ that may affect their comfort and therefore contaminate the accuracy of the reading. Sykno’s ViRa24 can measure heart rate, breathing, and heart sounds at a distance of up to 1 m from the target, simply through the micro-disturbances in the reflected radar signal.

When we first talked to Fabian, he mentioned fitting one under a patient’s bed for vital signs and presence monitoring, something that we think would be very useful not just in medical settings but also in, for example, prisons, care homes, and other care settings.

In these latter cases, radar-based vital signs measurements are simply a safeguard against harm, operating on the assumption that the person being monitored is fine in most instances. Of course, when something has gone wrong, you will want to know as soon as possible that something is up with their vitals or they are not where they should be, before it’s too late…

Combining radar technology with AI

Of course, AI (Artificial intelligence) will come up when any form of sensor data is mentioned. In this case, raw data from the ViRa24 gives you basic readings of vital signs, and by using external AI processing, it is possible to determine whether someone may have an underlying health condition, be under stress, etc. This will be based on models trained to recognise these patterns in heart and breathing functions.

Additionally, using AI to determine how long someone is sleeping could mean much more accurate clinical studies than with methods using contact-based sensors.

This level of vital signs monitoring accuracy is only possible due to Sykno’s innovations in the field of radar technology, making it an innovation with real-world benefits rather than simply technology for the sake of technology.

Testing Sykno’s ViRa24 in your own projects

It is probably worth stressing that the ViRa24 itself is not certified for use in medical settings, but it does show how Sykno’s radar technology can be used in such applications with many benefits. It has proven success in clinical and academic studies.  

The ViRa24 can easily be connected to a PC via the USB connector for immediate readings using Sykno’s accompanying software suite.

Sykno ViRa24 Evaluation GUI

In addition to its own radar sensor output, the ViRa24 has external inputs so that you can connect other sensors to verify its performance against standard vital sign monitoring technologies. These can be fed directly into the open-source software so that you can see all the measurements in one place.

Once you’re happy with the performance of the ViRa24, you can start working with Sykno to design the perfect, certified solution for your use case. Follow the link to the board page below for a summary of the key technical capabilities of this reference design and an application form to get connected with Sykno for evaluation of this technology.

This won’t be the last time you hear about Sykno’s radar solutions…

Keep designing!

Love radar technology? Check out ipXchange’s other pieces on this interesting contactless sensing solution:

Next-level condition monitoring with A4Radar

Next-level heartbeat detection! AKM flexes a decade of R&D for superior mm-wave radar sensing

Miniaturised radar ICs for high-insight, non-destructive testing in industrial applications

5.8 GHz sensor SoC offers simpler implementation of radar motion sensing

Sykno ViRa24 Radar-Based Contactless Vital Sign Sensor

Want the full benefits of radar-based measurement in a people-monitoring setting?

Apply for the development board now
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