IIIT-Hyderabad develops wireless pneumonia detector

Device can detect temperature range, breathing rate, lung sound analysis
Wireless pneumonia detector developed by IC~WiBES lab at IIIT-H. The GoldAid chip for worker safety.
Wireless pneumonia detector developed by IC~WiBES lab at IIIT-H. The GoldAid chip for worker safety. Photo | Express

HYDERABAD: The Integrated Circuits inspired by Wireless and Biomedical Electronic Systems (IC~WiBES) lab at the Centre for VLSI and Embedded Systems (CVEST) at IIITH has designed a wireless pneumonia detector and a worker safety system, semiconductor-chip based devices which can bring about evolution in the healthcare sector.

A team of students led by Prof Abhishek Srivastava, founder of the IC~WiBES lab, has developed chip-based devices which can detect respiratory diseases in children and a safety device for factory workers, that can detect abnormal heart rates, body temperatures and can alert in case of medical emergencies for first aid.

Prof Abhishek Sharma, speaking about the wireless pneumonia detector, told TNIE, “We have developed a system which is an integration of multiple different sensors which can detect vital parameters such as the temperature range, breath rate, blood-oxygen saturation rate, as well as the lung sound analysis. We have also developed a sensor which can sense biomolecules in the saliva of the subject. In case of a respiratory disease, the streptococcus pneumoniae proteins will be in varying concentration in the saliva, which can be detected by the sensors to identify the presence of the infection. Everything has been embedded in a portable handheld platform.”

The device is in a clinical trial phase at present and talks are going on with Gandhi hospital for conducting the trials.

The group has also developed a prototype for worker safety system called GoldAid, which can be used in closed settings such as thermal power plants, coal power plants and other work environments which spread over kilometres, where communication is difficult.

Explaining about the worker safety system, named GoldAid, prof Shrivastava said, “The Worker Safety Device is a wearable device which can be used by workers who are engaged in tedious maintenance work. In case of a medical emergency or an accident, the GoldAid will capture various parameters such as heart rate, blood pressure, temperature as well as the worker’s live location, and in case any hazardous gas or chemical present in the environment, it can also be sensed by the device. The device can also detect if a worker falls while doing any activity”.

The device sends a signal to a base station device which is further linked to the central monitoring system. The communication range of the current prototype is 400 metres and more work is being carried out to further enhance the range of the device.

“Most of the lives are lost due to lack of medical aid in the golden hour. The GoldenAid device has been designed with an aim to provide medical aid in case of emergencies to save the lives of workers”, Dr Shirvastava added.

A test was conducted successfully in the Ramagundam Thermal Power Plant for the worker safety device and was in the process of productization.

A patent has been filed for this wireless pneumonia detector as well as the wireless safety device, while talks are on for funding the production of the safety device.

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The New Indian Express