Measuring Heart Rate Using RF Detection From Within The Mouth

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NYU WIRELESS Electrical Engineering Professor Michael Knox and researcher Gavin Vitale are developing a method to reliably monitor heart rate by detecting arterial wall movement through the use of Radio Frequency (RF) electromagnetic waves. A sensor may be placed inside the mouth, so as to maximize freedom of movement for the user, and allows for ease of setup when the RF sensor is fitted in an oral appliance. So-called “non-contact” methods of pulse detection allow for vital sign detection in a number of different environments; from within the safe confines of a medical office to a more challenging atmosphere like a recently affected disaster area. 

The majority of research thus far has involved detecting movement of the heart wall to convey pulse information. This is typically accomplished using a Doppler radar receiver where the phase of the returning wave is compared with the incident wave phase to provide range information about the intended target.

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