Archive for the ‘sensors’ Category

High-tech toilet seat monitors your heart as you sit on the can

February 19th, 2019

If developing heart disease scares the poo out of you, this new monitor may be just the thing.

Engineers at Rochester Institute of Technology have designed a high-tech toilet seat that effortlessly flushes out data on the state of your cardiovascular system. The tricked-out porcelain throne measures your blood pressure, blood oxygen level, and the volume of blood your heart pumps per beat (stroke volume)—taking readings every time you sit down to catch up on some reading of your own. The engineers, led by David Borkholder, recently published a prototype of the seat in the open-access journal JMIR mHealth and uHealth.

According to the inventors, the seat’s daily data dump could make patients and their doctors privy to early warning signs of heart failure, potentially helping to prevent further deterioration and avoid costly hospital stays. Moreover, the seat could ease in-home monitoring for heart patients, who often strain to consistently track their tickers with other, non-toilet-based monitors.

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Posted in BCG, blood, cardiovascular disease, ECG, Health, heart, heart failure, heart monitor, medical devices, oxygenation, science, sensors, toilet | Comments (0)

Awesome tiny gyroscope promising but not ready for prime time

November 9th, 2018
Laser based gyroscopes can get rather large—even ones we send to space.

Enlarge / Laser based gyroscopes can get rather large—even ones we send to space. (credit: Gravity Probe B)

The modern smartphone is only possible because of sensors. Their svelte form factor conceals accelerometers, magnetometers, temperature sensors, a GPS unit, and gyroscopes. They all consume volume and power, meaning that each sensor, even as it makes your phone smarter, induces battery-sucking anxiety.

Which makes a report of a very tiny laser gyroscope pretty interesting, even if it still has a way to go before being found in your cellphone. Laser gyroscopes are pretty much the "if only" of tiny sensors. Essentially, they seem like they should rule the roost in terms of providing a clean and clear signal. But, so far at least, they don’t.

Good things go bad

To see why this is so, let’s take a look at how a laser gyroscope works. Essentially, light is sent into a ring; half of the light travels around the ring clockwise, and the other half counter-clockwise. The two light beams meet at the opposite side of the ring, where they exit together.

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