The human body is a major data collection center – constantly generating heat, creating sounds, and making motions. To capture measurements of these functions to track personal health, sensor embedded wearables typically collect and share vital data by connecting to the patient and synching to an app or monitoring system. Technology startup Xandar Kardian, however, has taken a new approach to capturing this data by concentrating on micro-vibrational patterns and sharing information autonomously, without having the patient hooked up to any device.
The company’s XK300 autonomous monitoring device, which recently received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) clearance, uses ultra-wide band (UWB) radar to safely obtain micro-vibrational frequency patterns emitted by the body. The device is contact-free and its radar technology can work from 9ft to up to 24ft away [resting heart rate (RHR) up to 9ft, respiratory rate (RR) up to 24ft], providing proactive care and ease for patients while enabling efficiency for medical staff.
“The key focus with this device is that it’s non-contact, continuous, and autonomous. These are three extremely powerful capabilities,” explains Sam Yang, co-founder and managing director at Xandar Kardian. “As soon as you’re in a room, or in a bed or wherever you’re supposed to be, that’s it. You don’t have to do anything, there’s no app that you turn on. There’s no charging of anything, you’re not wearing anything, which is a huge benefit for the user and healthcare provider.”
Rather than being worn, the technology is mounted to a wall, headboard, or any object located in a permissible range from the user.
It can be used in care facilities and home settings, and doesn’t require any staff intervention; therefore, it reduces the physical demands and some stress related to conducting multiple spot checks. Non-contact monitoring also means that there’s less risk of infection between patients and healthcare staff, which is especially important in a post-COVID-19 world.
A new measurement approach
One of the biggest differentiators of this system is that it only collects information when body motion is 80% stable. By taking measurements during RHR and RR without intervention, the device can provide invaluable insights.
XK300 can obtain a reliable respiration rate with high accuracy because it ensures the entire body is still before obtaining chest and stomach movement. It can lock into this harmonious rhythm (movement frequency within 5 seconds to 20 seconds) and obtain accurate heartbeat patterns. As Yang explains, the core logic is identical to the gold standard in that it measures RR with chest motion (up & down).
“The common misconception that we have is that we go inside your body and collect the heartbeat motion, but we actually don’t,” Yang says. “How it works is that as the heart is pumping, it’s making that ‘bum da bum’ motion and generates a frequency that is emitted onto the skin side. We’re picking up that nano-vibration from the skin level and we’re able to differentiate your large body motion, and your breathing, and the nano-vibration from the heart as it’s pumping inside the body.”
By continuously obtaining these measurements, Xandar Kardian can define a baseline RR and RHR. Standard threshold levels are set, and if measurements fall outside normal parameters, the system alerts medical staff via call systems or cloud-based mobile apps or dashboard alerts.
These continuous measurements also allow physicians to see potential future occurrences based on the data points collected.
“Once they [the user] ask for SOS, we’re able to continuously monitor and send that information in real time to first responders,” Yang adds. “So, if they come back from the hospital, and they’re doing well, the physician can now have access to this data that’s going to be super valuable and understand what happened to potentially prevent such events from reoccurring. We’re empowering the physicians with a lot of information that they never had access to before.”
Continuously monitoring RHR and RR is also critical because it can serve as a predictor for various chronic health conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sepsis, pneumonia, COVID-19, heart attacks, and strokes. Early recognition and possible prevention could greatly reduce healthcare costs and possibly prevent deterioration, therefore reducing hospital readmissions.
Currently the device is being tested in four main areas of care:
Behavioral health monitoring: The device can provide analytics to show body motion history and the number of times the individual exited the room. The patterns indicate if there are drastic changes in motion or social behaviors. It could indicate any depressive symptoms.
Sleep quality: 15min+ still motion (80% stability scoring) from preset time period (i.e.: 10pm-7am) combined with 3+ beats per minute (BPM) slowdown will trigger stage-two light sleep detection.
Gastroenterology analysis: XK300’s ability to obtain 99% accurate presence and dwell time information in the bathroom provides critical insight to the resident’s bathroom activities, especially for those in memory care. It could also help signal possible presence of infection.
Memory care: The device senses human presence without any wearable by detecting breathing signals in the room at 99.99% accuracy in real-time. Wake-up alert and motion alert before leaving the room can provide wander-prevention, which is key for user safety – especially for those with memory loss.
The future of radar technology
Yang also expresses his excitement for what this radar technology could mean for the future, as he sees many potential use cases for the company’s monitoring device. Xandar Kardian is currently researching and conducting clinical trials to use radar-only detection for blood pressure and arrhythmia monitoring. They are also looking at possible applications in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) for prenatal patients.