The AcuPebble is a wearable breathing and cardiac monitoring device that uses very innovative and sophisticated engineering techniques to provide automatic assessment of an important number of respiratory and cardiac conditions including Sleep Apnea, COPD, Atrial Fibrillation and Asthma.
It continuously monitors multiple breathing and cardiac parameters and provides remote real time access to the acoustic signal resulting from respiration and cardiac function, so that a doctor could listen to the sound of your (or your loved ones) respiratory tract and heart, to carry out a more informed diagnosis. AcuPebble is tiny and weighs only 5 grams with a diameter smaller than a UK twopence coin. It is super easy to use - as simple as peeling a bandage and pressing it on!
The fundamental physical principle behind the AcuPebble wearable sensing technology is that the mechanisms of respiration and cardiac function generate acoustic signals in the respiratory tract that can be detected externally with a very small acoustic sensor. From this acoustic signal, a variety of physiological and disease related parameters can be obtained, such as lung volumes, breathing rate, heart rate that are useful for diagnosing several medical conditions.
The accompanying iOS, Android and web apps are used to view the monitored parameters in real-time as well as hear live lung sounds. AcuPebble can be used in multiple monitoring and diagnosis modes which can be selected from the app based on the medical requirements.
AcuPebble has been developed at the Rodriguez-Villegas Lab at Imperial College London where Dr. Esther Rodriguez-Villegas leads a multi-disciplinary team of post-doctoral researchers and PhD students. The expertise in the lab includes ultra-low power wearable medical devices, high performance analogue and digital circuit design, biomedical signal processing, electronic circuit packaging, and high performance PCB design. Current research projects are focused on wearable sensors for breathing and cardiac monitoring and low-power electronics and integrated circuits for the online processing of electroencephalogram (EEG) signals. The lab's research is receiving funding from the European Research Council under the European Community's 7th Framework Programme. Dr. Rodriguez-Villegas is also part of the Commodity-12 consortium for continious monitoring of type 1 and 2 diabetes and has been awarded the CrackIT Challenge in 2012 which is run by the National Centre for Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement of Animals in Reseearch and is sponsored by Eli Lilly.