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26 February 2019 Reliability of vital parameter sensors in harsh environments
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Abstract
The use of modern medical equipment in crisis and war zones for emergency medical teams (EMT) of the World Health Organization is an important factor for fast and efficient humanitarian aid. A reliable vital parameter monitoring is fundamental in mobile hospitals. Currently, the maintenance of medical devices in structurally weak areas is difficult due to the company’s proprietary standards. Rough environmental influences such as dust, moisture, heat or shocks can lead to dysfunktion and long-lasting failure of instrumentation. Pulse oximetry and blood pressure measurements are particularly susceptible. We developed an open source vital parameter monitoring system for use under adverse conditions and structurally weak areas. Blood oxygen levels, heart rate, blood pressure and electrocardiograms are recorded and transferred to decentralized displays. The main focus is on reliability and robustness of various optical sensors for pulse oximetry, the repair capability of the system also for non-technical personnel and the availability of individual standard components. Therefore we implemented a monitoring system basing on individual microcontrollers for each vital parameter. Different optical sensors for measurement in transmission and reflection were tested at suitable body sites with near-surface arteries. In combination with the electrocardiogram, evaluation of the pulse transit time enables continuous blood pressure measurements. A specially developed optical reflective sensor allows reliable measurement of blood oxygen level. For extended blood pressure measurements, the pulsetransit-time method (PTT) was implemented and enables a continuous monitoring. Even in emergencies, the trend in blood pressure can be monitored with PTT without prior calibration. The reliability was investigated.
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Josef Kauer, Wjatscheslaw Liublin, Sebastian Jünemann, Moritz Klimt, Dagmar Krefting, Sebastian Olbrich, and Ingeborg E. Beckers "Reliability of vital parameter sensors in harsh environments", Proc. SPIE 10869, Optics and Biophotonics in Low-Resource Settings V, 1086918 (26 February 2019); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2510517
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