CMOS and beyond CMOS
Discover why imec is the premier R&D center for advanced logic & memory devices. anced logic & memory devices.
Connected health solutions
Explore the technologies that will power tomorrow’s wearable, implantable, ingestible and non-contact devices.
Life sciences
See how imec brings the power of chip technology to the world of healthcare.
Sensor solutions for IoT
Dive into innovative solutions for sensor networks, high speed networks and sensor technologies.
Artificial intelligence
Explore the possibilities and technologies of AI.
More expertises
Discover all our expertises.
Research
Be the first to reap the benefits of imec’s research by joining one of our programs or starting an exclusive bilateral collaboration.
Development
Build on our expertise for the design, prototyping and low-volume manufacturing of your innovative nanotech components and products.
Solutions
Use one of imec’s mature technologies for groundbreaking applications across a multitude of industries such as healthcare, agriculture and Industry 4.0.
Venturing and startups
Kick-start your business. Launch or expand your tech company by drawing on the funds and knowhow of imec’s ecosystem of tailored venturing support.
/Expertise/Connected health solutions/Technology for vital sign monitoring devices

Technology for vital sign monitoring devices

A comprehensive view of someone’s health can’t really be established in a doctor’s office. That’s why imec develops technologies that pave the way toward clinical-grade devices for ambulatory, unobtrusive health monitoring.

How do you assess someone’s general health? The quickest way is to check his vital signs, such as body temperature, heart/breathing rate and blood pressure – with devices that you’ll find in any general practitioner’s office. 

However, this picture may be distorted, because:

  1. It’s a snapshot: a singular moment in time that can differ significantly from someone’s average health state.
  2. It’s taken in artificial conditions that don’t resemble a person’s day-to-day circumstances, which can impact the results.
  3. It’s influenced by the presence of a doctor or a nurse, the so-called white coat effect.

Longitudinal and ambulatory vital sign monitoring is the way to improve the reliability of health evaluations. But that’s only possible through devices that are so small and unobtrusive that a person can comfortably wear them during his daily routine, or that are invisibly integrated into our surroundings. 

Imec is working on technologies and solutions for vital sign monitoring devices, and the translation of their collected data into actionable health insights.

Join our research

Wearable and non-contact devices monitor a variety of vital signs

Wearable prototypes such as our disposable health patch contain a biomedical sensor system-on-chip that can register and process multiple physical parameters. And we’re also looking at technologies for non-contact vital sign sensing based on capacitive and radar sensing.

In this way, our sensors are able to track parameters such as:

  • electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • photoplethysmogram (PPG)
  • impedance cardiogram (ICG)
  • ultrasound (PMUT/CMUT)
  • piezoelectricity

Based on these parameters, our algorithms calculate actionable health information:

  • heart rate
  • heart rate variability
  • blood pressure
  • blood pressure variation during the day or over several days
  • breathing rate
  • body water
  • specific arrhythmias or anomalies
  • ...

vital sign monitoring device

Imec’s disposable health patch for vital sign monitoring.
This prototype device can be further developed and adapted to
your specific product and application requirements.

Completing the health picture

The biggest challenge is to combine all that information about vital signs – often from several monitoring devices – into one meaningful output

The ultimate goal is to be able to instantly answer questions such as: ‘Your heart rate is slightly elevated today. What does that mean in light of your other health data or your diagnosed condition?’

The applications of such insights are plentiful: from clinical devices that automatically dispense the right dose of medicine to advanced driver-assistance systems that sound the alarm when all your health parameters indicate that you’re dozing off behind the wheel.

For another example, check out our collaboration with Onera, on the development of wearable and disposable sleep diagnostic device.

Develop your vital sign monitoring devices with imec

Join one of our R&D programs to get access to our technology platforms and tune them to your own product requirements. Imec’s expertise is built on years of experience in chip and system design, in co-creation with industrial partners and clinical experts. 

Or enter into a bilateral collaboration with imec and trust on our in-house expertise for the development of your vital sign monitoring systems – all the way up to the clinical validation and FDA approval of your solution.

Want to join our research? Need an experienced partner to speed up your development?

Get in touch

Scientific publications

Related technologies

Innovative algorithms for actionable insights
Turn raw health data into actionable insights with algorithms optimized for your connected health device.
Non-contact vital sign sensing
The next step in continuous health monitoring is the invisible integration of vital sign sensors in our environment. Imec researches the use of capacitive sensors and 140 GHz radar to make that happen.
Systems-on-chip for medical sensor devices
An electronic device that’s comfortably connected to the human body needs to be as compact as possible. That’s why imec’s assists you in the development of biomedical systems-on-chip that strive for an unparalleled integration of essential functions, while maintaining medical-grade fidelity.

Related prototypes

Disposable health patch
Continuous health monitoring has a promising future. It will enable us to find new diagnostic methods, improve therapies and reduce hospital readmissions. And this patch makes it considerably easier.
Chill+
Wrist-worn fitness devices are a big success on the consumer market. But there’s a lot more health data to be collected at the wrist beyond activity. If you want to take wireless health tracking to a higher level, imec’s Chill+ prototype is an excellent starting point.

Other application domains

Gait Analysis
Want to get human motion analysis out of the lab? Join imec’s research to develop wearable kinematic sensor systems for health and sports applications.
Neurotechnology
Work with an innovative neurotechnology platform of advanced algorithms and systems to develop user-friendly, clinical-grade and non-invasive brain monitoring and stimulation solutions.
Ophthalmology
Use recent advances in nano and digital technology to develop ophthalmology applications such as smart contact lenses and eye-tracking glasses.
Sleep monitoring technology
Sleep should be a time of supreme comfort. That’s why it doesn’t make sense to doze under a blanket of sensors and wires. Start from imec’s sensing technology to make sleep monitoring less burdensome for patients and more cost-effective for caregivers.
Pain and stress monitoring
Feelings such as pain and stress do not only reside in people’s minds. They manifest themselves through physiological signals. Using wearable technologies, you can leverage these signals to improve research and treatments.
New dialysis approaches
After more than 50 years of near-standstill, renal medicine is ready for major technological leaps forward. With microelectronics & nanotechnology as powerful ingredients.
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.
Technologies for gastroenterology and precision nutrition
Join imec’s research into non-contact and ingestible technologies to gain insight into digestive processes and enable personalized diets.

How can we help you?

Send us your request

I'm looking for

This website uses cookies for analytics purposes only without any commercial intent. Find out more here. Our privacy statement can be found here. Some content (videos, iframes, forms,...) on this website will only appear when you have accepted the cookies.