26.10.2016 change 26.10.2016

Polish microchip to monitor the condition of the body

Microchip called bioSOC, developed by researchers from the Military Institute of Aviation Medicine (Wojskowy Instytut Medycyny Lotniczej, WIML) in Warsaw and their partners, not only measures heart rate, respiratory rate and temperature, but also muscle tension, skin sweating rate, blood oxygen saturation, and record the ECG.

The information has been sent by the WIML press office.

Fully Polish, proprietary processor bioSOC has been developed by a team of scientists from the WIML Research Laboratory, Warsaw University of Technology, the Institute of Medical Technology and Equipment, the Institute of Electron Technology and the company Fonon. The objective of the project funded by the National Centre for Research and Development was to develop miniature technology to measure the vital signs with the accuracy of professional hospital medical devices.

Although the chip\'s dimensions are only 5 by 5 mm, its functionality and accuracy match professional medical equipment - for example a Holter recorder carried by a patient that records ECG signals. With only few electrodes attached, it is possible to record a variety of parameters - for example, chest electrodes allow to receive impulses from the respiratory muscles. Smart wristbands available on the market are usually equipped only with a sensor measuring pulse rate and accelerometer.

"This small chip can be easily integrated with any electronic device, such as a wristband, smartphone, it can be sewn into clothes or installed in a car" - said M. Sc. Jarosław Lewandowski,, Head of Research Laboratory at WIML.

In the case of the a car, the sensor could warn a tired driver, and in case of serious problems stop the vehicle and request assistance. In more demanding conditions (military, pilots) it could use a system of sensor (ECG, EMG, heart rate, oxygen saturation) sewn into the driver\'s or pilot\'s seat.

bioSOC microchip can be used in early warning systems for people working in difficult conditions, such as miners, firemen and rescuers. It could warn about the threat to health or life. Nursing homes could continuously monitor patients without affecting their quality of life. The product may also make it easier to monitor the health of elderly family members.

"bioSOC microchip is ready for use in many everyday devices, from shirts to smart phones. It provides current information on the physical condition of the body, warns of impending problems, helps to determine the cause of deteriorating condition, for example fainting. During rescue operations it could signal team members about the problems of one of the rescuers, for example, oxygen saturation of blood" - describes MSc. Mariusz Pazur, programmer at the WIML Research Laboratory.

The research took three years. 30 scientists from the Military Institute of Aviation Medicine alone were involved, as well as several dozen people from Warsaw University of Technology and the Institute of Medical Technology and Equipment. In the world, developing a fully proprietary microchip costs a minimum of $ 1 million. "Thanks to the passion and commitment of the team, at a several times lower cost we have managed to develop biomedical technology, which has no equal in commercial applications. The production cost of one microchip in mass production can be of the order of only few cents" - emphasised M. Sc. Jarosław Lewandowski from WIML.

For this project, scientists from Warsaw University of Technology have developed a fully proprietary chip. The challenge was to create a technology that, in addition to high quality, will be securely handling sensitive patient data. As noted in the message, using ready-made components, researchers would have to consider possible "back doors" known only to the author. During the development of the Polish microchip, emphasis was also placed on elements such as energy efficiency and miniaturisation.

Lewandowski explained that because the technology was funded by the National Centre for Research and Development, from the end of the project solutions can be made available to interested parties under commercial license.

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