Patient Heartbeat And Temperature Monitor
1.1 Background of Study
Heart beat rate means the number of heartbeats per unit time, usually expressed as beats per minute (bpm). The human heart pounds to pump oxygen rich blood to the muscles and carry cell waste products away from the tissues. Heartbeat rate can vary according to the demand of the muscles to absorb oxygen and excrete carbon dioxide changes such as during exercise or sleep. It also varies significantly between individuals based on age, fitness and genetics. This means that the heart must beat faster to deliver more oxygen rich blood. During exercise routines, the heartbeat rate gives a strong indication of how effective the exercise is to the body.
The patient monitoring systems is one of the major improvements in the global health care program because of its advanced technology. A patient monitoring system measures the heartbeat and body temperature by using embedded technology. This advancement in technology is highly needed because many sick patients at the hospitals die because of high fever and heart attacks. The trend of cardiovascular disease has shown that heart beat rate plays a key role in determining the possibility of a heart attack while an increase in the body temperature can induce fever on a patient. Heart diseases such as heart attack, coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, and congenital heart disease are the leading causes of death for men and women in many countries.
Most of the time, the aged people of the society are more prone to heart disease problems than the younger ones. For people who live alone with no one to monitor their health condition, this device offers an opportunity to them for a constant monitoring of their health status, it is developed to monitor and alert the doctors about the heartbeat and temperature condition of a patient. It is developed to give patients a timely and proper heath care.
These days it is not easy for doctors and the nurses to remain close to a patients bed side to monitor their heath condition. In the past, a huge and fixed monitoring device was used (only in the hospitals) to know the health status of a patient when on a bed. These monitoring devices are only available in the hospitals and are constantly on the patient’s body. Many of them are not user friendly so it is important that the doctors and family members will have a handy device that can always monitor their patients when they are not around. One of the vital things to monitor on a patient is the body temperature. This has to do with the measurement of the body’s ability to generate and get rid of heat. Temperature monitoring is one of chief indicators of the normal functioning of health.
The nature of the human body is to keep its temperature within a narrow, safe range in spite of large variations in temperatures outside the body. Normal human body temperature depends upon the place in the body, from which the measurement is made, and the time and level of activity of the person. The typical body temperature is 37.0 °C ± 0.4°C (98.6 ° F ± 0.7°F). When the body temperature is high, the blood vessels within the skin expand (dilate) to carry the excess heat to the patients skin surface. One may begin to sweat, and as the sweat evaporates, it helps to cool his/her body. When one is too cold, the blood vessels narrows (contracts) so that blood flow to the skin is reduced to conserve body heat. This may cause an involuntary shivering in some people due to cold which is a rapid contraction of the muscles.
This extra muscle activity helps to generate more heat. Under normal condition, thus keeping one’s body temperature within a narrow, safe range. Body temperature is regulated by neural feedback mechanism which operate primarily through the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus contains not only the control mechanisms, but also the key temperature sensors. Under control of these mechanisms, sweating begins almost precisely at a skin temperature of 37°C and increases rapidly as the skin temperature rises above this value. The heat production of the body under these conditions remains almost constant as the skin temperature rises. If the skin temperature drops below 37°C a variety of responses are initiated to conserve the heat in the body and to increase heat production. These includes: Vasoconstriction to decrease the flow of heat to the skin, Cessation of sweating, shivering to increase heat production in the muscles, Secretion of nor epinephrine, epinephrine, and thyroxin to increase heat production.
Another vital thing to monitor in a patient is the heartbeat rate. It is very important that the heartbeat is to be normal. That is 72 BPM. If there is any abnormality, then the patient is in distress. Heartbeat rate means the number of heartbeats per unit of time. The normal heartbeat rate of a resting person is about 70 bpm for adult males and 75 bpm for adult females. The average heartbeat per minute for 25-year old ranges between 140-170 beats per minute while for a 60-year old it is typically between 115-140 beats per minute and body temperature is 37 degree Celsius or 98.6 Fahrenheit. .
Normally it is difficult to keep track of the abnormalities in the heartbeat count of by manual means. Patients are not well versed with the manual treatments, which the doctors normally use for tracking the count of the heartbeat. Thus, there must be some kind of device which would help patients and their family member to keep track of their health by themselves. This sole reason is why this project presents a heartbeat and temperature monitoring device using radio frequency (RF.). The concept of developing an RF. based patient monitoring device is to have a simple home and hospital based pulse and body temperature monitoring device for sick person’s that are in critical condition and needs to be constantly or periodically monitored by clinician or family.
1.2 What is a Patient Heartbeat and Temperature Monitor Using RF.?
A patient heartbeat and temperature monitor using RF. is a radio frequency based pulse wave and body temperature monitoring system, which allows the control of a sick person’s condition in real time. The system monitors the heart beat and temperature of a patient simultaneously and if the patients heartbeat rate or body temperature is abnormal, the system alerts sends an alert to the doctor or patient’s family members to quickly examine or diagnose the patient’s condition and take early precaution to save the patient’s life. The alerts sound can be triggered at any time as long as there is a deviation in the health condition of the patient from the normal, such that the status of the patient can be known on time.
The system consists of a sensor, which monitors the patient and sends a signal to a microcontroller, which processes it to determine the temperature and heartbeat rate of the patient before sending an alert to a receiver using radio frequency. The receiver has to be in the possession of the patient’s doctor or family members. This project can also be used by athletes who engage in physical exercise and by medical professionals. Individuals, such as athletes, cyclists or those who are interested in monitoring their heartbeat rate and body temperature to gain maximum efficiency from their training can also use this project. It can be used during physical exercise and healthcare.
1.3 Problem Definition
The human health is one of the most important concerns in the world today. Anything/everything becomes meaningless when one becomes sick and dies due to improper Medicare. For health reasons, people, governments and several voluntary bodies spend a lot of money to ensure a better health condition for themselves and the entire populace. Scientists and Engineers are always at work to device a means of supporting/sustaining a sound health condition for all through the invention of numerous technologies both Electrical/Mechanical gadgets that are in use for health care delivery today. The heart is a very delicate organ in the human body (once it stops beating, nothing else matters).
Thus, If early actions are taken (and on time) the heart condition can be managed effectively and many patients can be cured and saved. The problem of patients slumping and dying is associated with cardiovascular arrests and can be checkmated this sensitive and highly effective device (the patient heartbeat and temperature monitor). This device has an outstanding advantage that it is easy to handle and access. Heartbeat rate and body temperature monitors are part of the most vital tools needed in first aid kit for saving lives. Unlike the x-ray, the heartbeat and temperature monitor does not impose any hazard to the human health. There devices in the market which can provide raw measurement data of the patients to the doctors, but the patients may not be able to interpret the medical measurement into a meaningful diagnosis due to their limited medical background.
On the other hand, if raw medical data is delivered to the doctor, time is wasted and may pose a problem, but in emergencies waste of time can never be tolerated. It is tough to share data over large area within a short period. Most of the products available in the market have this drawback of limitation in flexibility and portability. If the heat that is produced from metabolism cannot be checkmated on time, it will cause a turbulent body temperature, which could be worse than 40°C and lead to headache, vertigo, low blood pressure, high energy consumption, unconsciousness and crocking up of body temperature regulation function. On the other hand, when the produced heat is less than the dissipating heat, the body temperature cannot hold on and it will result to a decrease in metabolism.
1.4 Aims and Objectives
The major aim and objective of this design [of a patient heartbeat and temperature monitor using RF.] is to help the doctors and family members to keep track of the heartbeat condition of their loved ones [as well as their body temperature] in the case of an abnormality in the health condition (for those with heartbeat defects and those that run excessive high temperature beyond normal). If any varied change takes place, it is notified. This notification through RF. Channel would to take an appropriate action at an instance of time, thereby alerting the appropriate persons..
1.5 Significance of the Project
There are various instruments available in the hospitals to keep track of the internal body changes, but many of them have limitations regarding to maintenance, cost, size of instruments, and mobility. This project is so significant because it is mobile, small in size, cost effective, very easy to use, highly efficient performance, portable and light in weight etc. It uses RF. to help both the patient and the concerned doctor to take an appropriate action.
It is beneficial in terms of cost. It saves time and is very helpful to patients who lives alone. It offers a freedom of movement to patients. It has a low power consumption though the stability of its wireless data communication is still to be enhanced. To some degree, the wireless data communication via RF has anti-jamming ability.
1.6 Scope of the Project
This project operates at a 30 feet’s distance on open space. It is designed to operate with an alkaline battery of a minimum of 9 volts to a maximum of 12v consumes 50mA. It uses a buffer, temperature sensor, AT89c51 Microcontroller and a led display with buzzer for the alert.
The hardware and soft ware of the system is oriented towards the AT89c51 single chip microcontroller. Hence, reducing the size of the device. A regulated 3.7v RF. operates in the frequency range of 415 MHZ per second used for data transmission, which can easily penetrate over three floors of a building and go over 30 feet’s in open space.
Summary and Conclusion
Heartbeat rate and temperature monitor using radio frequency RF. as its mode of communication is a highly sensitive device designed and constructed with the sole aim of combating untimely death caused by cardio-vascular arrest popularly known as heart attack and excessive body temperature which can induce a lot of sickness on the body such as malaria, headache, ulcer and other forms of illness which can be turbulent on the human health. The microcontroller chip plays a key role in the operation of this device. It is programmed to detect changes in the heartbeat condition and body temperature. The alarm unit alerts the concerned persons on the situation of the patient at any instant. The receiver decodes the alert signal and translates it into a readable output for the doctor/family members of the patient to be able to understand. The mechanism of the design is simple and handy to allow for mobility. This device will go a long way in reducing unforeseen situation which claims the lives of millions of people almost on weekly basis all over the world due to inadequate/delay in healthcare delivery to patients with a fragile heat condition.
6.2 Problems Encountered and Solution
During the design of this system, there were series of problems encountered, most of which were over come via share troubleshooting. In some cases, some parts required redesigning, and the software debugging also posed a bit of a problem. One major setback of this project was the un-availability of some vital components required for the build-up the hardware of the system. In most cases, I had to look through electrical catalogs to obtain replacement of some of the components, which were not available in the market. After developing the software for the microcontroller, it was very difficult to find a firm/individual to help with the programming of the chip (i.e. burning the embedded software on to the chip). This posed a serious problem as it caused a delay in the design, coupled with the fact that it was also costly. This affected the overall cost of the system.
The final packaging of the design was another problem as this actually caused problem on the circuit board. Such problems include partial contact within the circuit board, between components and with the wiring. This was actually one of the most challenging aspects of the circuit implementation phase. Due to this fact, there was a lot of soldering and de-soldering to ensure that the circuit was well implemented and seated.
The planning, design, implementation/execution of this project has really been a tough one. The configuration of the various units into one unit to obtain a desired output of detecting the heartbeat rate through pulses from the blood vessels on the wrist/thumb, and monitoring of the body temperature took a lot of courage and the application of the technical (and theoretical) initiative of the Engineering practice to execute. Thus, this device (integrated with modern technology) have been initiated to help in regularizing the health condition of most individuals by keeping track of their heartbeat rate condition as well as a constant monitoring of their body temperature. Thus, alerting the family members on the patient’s real time health situation using RF. as the mode of communication interfaced with LM35 technique.
This project, though a prototype design, is recommended for use at the hospitals and at homes for certain individuals who are prone to cardiac arrests or any form of cardio-vascular infection/disease. Patients who occasionally develop an excessive body temperature can as well make use of this device to help them to know their temperature status at a given instant. Athletes, footballers, cyclists and all those who involve themselves with tedious activities can also make use of this device. For future development, the device can be reconfigured and interfaced with the GSM modem and Bluetooth technology.
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