Every time we see the weighing scale it brings upon a thud feeling in our heart anxious about any weight loss or weight gain changes irrespective of our efforts that go into it. We avoid standing over weighing scales at the hospital where the nurse calls out our weight in front of groups of people, run away from them at restaurants where we had just finished off munching on our delightful meal and try to stay far away from them anytime. Maybe, we would like to secretly check our weights in the comfort of our homes and I don’t find it surprising that many of us now have a digital weight scale stealthily locked out somewhere in our house-to check our weights daily and take effective actions based on the results. These scales use a load cell and there is a change in voltage when force is applied to the load cell. The change in voltage correlates to the person’s weight in a digitized form.
Body weight measurements are useful to gauge your BMI, body fat percentage and muscle mass but measuring medically relevant parameters such as heart rate (HR), respiration rate (RR), heart rate variability (HRV), stroke volume (SV), cardiac output (CO), etc. using sensors attached to the person’s skin is greatly helpful in identifying certain physiological conditions while some other conditions necessitates the measurement of these parameters repeatedly at certain intervals with great accuracy. A classic example of such a physiological condition is congestive heart failure (CHF) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) that require the periodic measurement of body weight and fluids all through a patient’s life to keep oneself updated on the condition. But when such demands arise the patient too becomes less compliant especially when readings are taken outside clinical settings. Besides, placement of electrodes and measurement of parameters sometimes vary depending on the location of measurement of the parameters. A typical example is the measurement of the systolic (SYS) and diastolic (DIA) pressure measurements that depend on the location at which the parameter is measured - readings measured in the arm, finger, thigh or even the opposite arm show different numbers.
Different conditions occur as a result of differences in values of base measurement of various parameters. For example, ESRD occurs as a result of diabetes and changes in SYS and DIA blood pressure ranges along with variations in body fluids. TFC measurements play a vital role in diagnosing ESRD and this also negates the need for clinical estimations that can sometimes leave the patient with over-removal or under-removal of fluids during diagnosis. Coronary heart failure (CHF) (one type of heart failure) is caused due to hypertension, diabetes, obesity, smoking and valvular heart diseases. RR and HR exist as important measures for diagnosing heart failure (HF). Once CO is compromised the kidneys fail to do their function properly resulting in sodium and water retention. This leads to increase in weight gain and shift of body fluids to lower extremities. This calls for the need of immediate hospitalization as medications don’t workout. HF is clinically diagnosed by measuring SV, CO and EF (ejection fraction) but in the home environment a simple increase in weight measured using a weighing scale is good enough to identify CFH-a stage that’s critically important to identify the condition that can be easily avoided by simple yet effective changes to diet and medication. Its at this phase that physicians would love to avoid hospitalization when they have the means to remotely titrate medications, monitor diet plans and promote exercise performance. With the availability of identification method for the same research says that it is possible to avoid hospital readmission in 75% of patients with ESRD and CHF. For this, physicians prescribe physiological monitoring regimens to patients living at home-weight scaled and BP cuffs are used by patients daily but for a precise measurement the patients must use these equipment consistently and an imbalance in consistency is likelier in a home setting where there is no one to supervise.
The invention patented here provides a physiological sensor or monitoring device that helps to measure all vital signs and hemodynamic parameters and also promotes regular use and compliance to time-based measurements by the patient. The sensor invented helps in monitoring the patient for HF, CHF, ESRD, cardiac arrhythmias and other diseases and in this invention, it is configured like a floormat. The floormat is used daily and the information collected is sent via a smartphone to a web-based device. This information can be used to prevent hospitalization in patients henceforth. The invention has been designed with the intention of enabling the sensor to measure parameters such as HR, PR, SpO2, RR, SYS, DIA, TEMP, a thoracic fluid index (TFI), SV, CO, weight, percent body fat, muscle mass, and parameters sensitive to blood pressure called pulse arrival time (PAT) and vascular transit time (VTT)-all in just under 2 minutes. The invention offers an advantageous edge to the patient in the sense that it is an easy-to-use device that the patient can use to step onto to measure basic wellness parameters such as body weight and muscle mass, vital signs and complex haemodynamic parameters. As the invention is easy to use the patient is motivated to use it every day and when measurements are taken every day it makes it easier for noticing change in trends in the patient’s physiological parameters allowing to make a judgement on the diagnosis of certain diseases and chronic conditions such as CHF, obesity, kidney malfunctioning and obesity.
The patent was published on July 6th, 2017 and if you are interested in knowing more about the invention, its working policy and method of construction feel free to visit any of the sites below:
United States Patent & Trademark Office:http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=%22Floormat+Physiological+Sensor%22&OS=%22Floormat+Physiological+Sensor%22&RS=%22Floormat+Physiological+Sensor%22
European Patent Office: https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?II=0&ND=3&adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20190530&CC=US&NR=2019159730A1&KC=A1
World Intellectual Property Organization: https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=US200468778&_cid=P11-JXLHM3-81899-1
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