THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Proper monitoring is the trickiest part when it comes patients suffering from cardiovascular ailments. It still remains the leading cause for death in adults though there are effective preventive and therapeutic measures. A heart patient might wake up from his sleep with rapid or irregular heartbeat or collapse while in the middle of some activity. Because of the unpredictable nature of symptoms something that guarantees treatment at the right time is the only option and a group of students from Mohandas College of Engineering and Technology, Anad, seems to have just that. Four students specializing in Electronics and Communication have developed a device which they claim to be greatly beneficial to heart patients.
Manasa N Mahesh, Greeshma S M, Aswathy Bhadran and Hrudya K N have come up with ‘Integrated wearable physiological parameter monitoring system with automatic ambulance’ as part of their academic project under the guidance of Resmi S R, assistant professor, Electronics and Communication Department. “Cardiac arrests become fatal when proper care is not administered at the right time. The project is a solution to the problem,” says Resmi.
The device comprises three units that communicate by means of radio waves - a wrist strap implanted with electronic sensors, a computerised interface at the hospital that contains the clinical details of the patient and an ambulance unit equipped with a microcontroller and GPS. “When the patient wears the strap with sensors in his wrist he comes under 24x7 monitoring. Any abnormal variation in temperature and heart rate detected by the sensors will alert the interface at the hospital as well as the ambulance unit. The GPS furnishes the patient’s location and the specially trained staff can take the shortest route to the patient and back to the hospital. In the meantime, preparatory steps for treatment can be taken at the hospital. The microcontroller in the ambulance controls the traffic lights in its path and switches the lights from red to green,” Manasa explains.
The key feature of the project is that help can be provided to the patient even when he has gone into a state of unconsciousness or cardiac arrests attack a person while sleeping. The students also believe that the project has great commercial possibilities. “This is just a prototype and it took one year for us to develop it. When implemented commercially, the size of the wrist strap can be considerably reduced to ensure the user’s freedom of movement. We believe it can help a lot of heart patients,” Manasa adds.