Radar sensors from Fraunhofer FHR to measure breathing frequency without contact

Decentralized monitoring of COVID-19 patients: M3Infekt project launched

Press Release / November 04, 2020

M3Infekt, a Fraunhofer cluster project, aims to develop a monitoring system that enables early intervention in the event that a patient’s condition sud-denly starts to deteriorate. It will be a modular, multimodal and mobile sys-tem, and will also be suitable for use in the treatment of COVID-19 pa-tients. By facilitating the required intervention at an early stage, the system helps to lessen the effects of disease, shorten the duration of therapy and make flexible use of intensive care wards.

The goal is a monitoring system for measuring vital parameters from a distance
© Fraunhofer FHR
The goal is a monitoring system for measuring vital parameters from a distance

Quick and reliable diagnosis of disease progression

The coronavirus pandemic poses a challenge for medical diagnostics. Alongside serious cases, the SARS-CoV2 virus also causes mild symptoms, but these can very quickly worsen. Currently, however, continuous patient monitoring is available only on intensive care wards. When someone’s health suddenly deteriorates, there is often some delay to this being recognized, meaning the patient is taken to hospital too late. This is precisely where the M3Infekt cluster project comes in. Using various technologies, the mobile system acquires, analyzes and fuses relevant biosignals, which enables a valid diagnosis to be made of the patient’s condition and the progression of the disease.

The idea is to provide a long-term solution for decentralized monitoring of patients on normal wards and in non-hospital environments using multimodal parameters of the cardiovascular system (including heart rate, ECG, oxygen saturation, blood flow) and respiratory parameters (including respiratory rate/volume, breath analysis). Machine learning methods serve as the basis for evaluating these parameters, facilitating diagnosis and enabling integration of the system into different deployment and application scenarios, regardless of location.

Affordable healthcare benefits patients and health services

The planned system has a modular and mobile structure with standardized, open interfaces. These enable easy integration into other platforms and make the system suitable for use with various diseases, including influenza, pneumonia and sepsis. It will enable continuous monitoring, previously used only for patients in intensive care, to be rolled out to non-hospital scenarios, such as short- and long-term care, outpatient treatment or home settings. This way, patients can remain in a favorable environment and move to a hospital only if their condition suddenly deteriorates.

Fraunhofer IIS is the project lead in the M3Infekt consortium, which comprises ten Fraunhofer Institutes and four medical partners. Together, they form an interdisciplinary group built on complementary areas of expertise.

Non-contact measurement of breathing frequency with radar

In particular, Fraunhofer FHR brings to the table its core competences in developing high frequency radar sensors. A multi-channel MIMO radar sensor is being developed with which the respiratory parameters of several people can be determined and monitored spatially resolved.

The M3Infekt project is funded as part of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s internal programs.

 

Partners: 

Fraunhofer-Institut für Integrierte Schaltungen IIS
Fraunhofer-Institut für Integrierte Schaltungen IIS, Institutsteil Entwurf Adaptive Systeme
Fraunhofer-Institut für Photonische Mikrosysteme IPMS
Fraunhofer-Institut für Keramische Technologien und Systeme IKTS
Fraunhofer-Institut für Elektronische Nanosysteme ENAS
Fraunhofer-Institut für Hochfrequenzphysik Und Radertechnik FHR
Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP
Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF
Fraunhofer-Institut für Mikrosysteme und Festkörper-Technologien EMFT
Fraunhofer-Projektzentrum Mikroelektronische und Optische Systeme für die Biomedizin MEOS

Clinical Partners:

Klinikum Magdeburg
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Universitätsklinikum Erlangen
Universitätsklinikum Dresden