Dual Processing Spatially Distributed Integrating Fiber Optic Sensors for Non-intrusive Patient Monitoring

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Virginia Tech


Given the rapid aging of the worldâ s population, improvements in technology for automation of patient care and documentation are badly needed. This project is based on previous research that demonstrated a â smartâ bed that can non-intrusively monitor a patient in bed and determine a patient's respiration, heart rate and movement without intrusive or restrictive medical measurements. The â smartâ bed is an application of spatially distributed integrating fiber optic sensors. The basic concept is that any patient movement that also moves an optical fiber within a specified area will produce a change in the optical signal. A statistical mode (STM) sensor and a high order mode excitation (HOME) sensor were previously investigated, based on which the author developed the present design including both modal modulation approaches. Development was made in both hardware and software for the combined STM/HOME sensor: a special lens system was installed allowing only the high order modes of the optical fiber to be excited and coupled into the sensor; computer-processing method was used for handling output from the dual STM-HOME sensor, which would offer comprehensive perturbation analysis for more reliable patient monitoring. Experimental results of simulating human body breathing and heartbeats by periodic mechanical perturbations are also presented, and the relative advantage and drawbacks of the two modal modulation approaches are discussed.



spatially integrating fiber optic, perturbation