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Technology for respiratory care

For someone with a pulmonary condition, breathing can be a constant struggle that needs to be closely managed. That’s why imec develops technologies that allow for non-obtrusive and continuous respiratory monitoring.

Chronic respiratory diseases are among the most widespread medical conditions. Worldwide, 235 million people suffer from asthma and 251 million from COPD.

All these patients stand to benefit from adequate assessment and management of their condition. Here, technologies for cost-efficient and unobtrusive respiratory care can make a real difference.

In addition, this technology is useful for general vital sign monitoring, since difficult breathing is one of the first signs of general medical deterioration.

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Need for quantitative, continuous respiratory monitoring

“Are you having difficulty breathing?”

Strangely enough, asking that question is still the most common method for assessing someone’s respiratory health.

Of course, more quantitative approaches – such as a spirometer – are available. But because they’re so obtrusive, they offer no more than a spot check. They’re not suitable for continuous respiratory monitoring – for instance during sleep – or for ambulatory measurement.

Imec develops non-obtrusive respiratory care technologies

Traditional respiratory monitoring devices require the patient to put on a mouthpiece or a mask. But imec’s wearable technology makes it possible to measure someone’s breathing with a patch on the chest.

An essential part of this wearable technology is imec’s system-on-chip for medical sensor devices. Its multimodal readout circuits register signals which are essential for respiratory monitoring, such as:

  • electromyogram (EMG)
  • mechanomyogram (MMG)
  • electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • bio-impedance

Even respiratory monitoring without direct skin contact is possible, thanks to non-contact technologies based on capacitive sensors and radar chips.

In all these respiratory care technologies, advanced medical algorithms help to filter out noise and artefacts, and to transform raw data into actionable insights.

Innovate in respiratory monitoring technology with imec

Join one of our R&D programs to get access to our technology platforms and tune them to your own product requirements. Or enter into a bilateral collaboration with imec and trust on our in-house expertise to guide you through the entire development of your respiratory care solution.

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