Internet of medical things – integrated, ultrasound-based respiration monitoring system for incubators

ABDULQADER, Tareq (2020). Internet of medical things – integrated, ultrasound-based respiration monitoring system for incubators. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

Abdulqader_2021_PhD_InternetMedicalThings.pdf - Accepted Version
Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (9MB) | Preview
Link to published version::


The study's aim was to develop a non-contact, ultrasound (US) based respiration rate and respiratory signal monitor suitable for babies in incubators. Respiration rate indicates average number of breaths per minute and is higher in young children than adults. It is an important indicator of health deterioration in critically ill patients. The current incubators do not have an integrated respiration monitor due to complexities in its adaptation. Monitoring respiratory signal assists in diagnosing respiration rated problems such as central Apnoea that can affect infants. US sensors are suitable for integration into incubators as US is a harmless and cost-effective technology. US beam is focused on the chest or abdomen. Chest or abdomen movements, caused by respiration process, result in variations in their distance to the US transceiver located at a distance of about 0.5 m. These variations are recorded by measuring the time of flight from transmitting the signal and its reflection from the monitored surface. Measurement of this delay over a time interval enables a respiration signal to be produced from which respiration rate and pauses in breathing are determined. To assess the accuracy of the developed device, a platform with a moving surface was devised. The magnitude and frequency of its surface movement were accurately controlled by its signal generator. The US sensor was mounted above this surface at a distance of 0.5 m. This US signal was wirelessly transmitted to a microprocessor board to digitise. The recorded signal that simulated a respiratory signal was subsequently stored and displayed on a computer or an LCD screen. The results showed that US could be used to measure respiration rate accurately. To cater for possible movement of the infant in the incubator, four US sensors were adapted. These monitored the movements from different angles. An algorithm to interpret the output from the four US sensors was devised and evaluated. The algorithm interpreted which US sensor best detected the chest movements. An IoMT system was devised that incorporated NodeMcu to capture signals from the US sensor. The detected data were transmitted to the ThingSpeak channel and processed in real-time by ThingSpeak’s add-on Matlab© feature. The data were processed on the cloud and then the results were displayed in real-time on a computer screen. The respiration rate and respiration signal could be observed remotely on portable devices e.g. mobile phones and tablets. These features allow caretakers to have access to the data at any time and be alerted to respiratory complications. A method to interpret the recorded US signals to determine respiration patterns, e.g. intermittent pauses, were implemented by utilising Matlab© and ThingSpeak Server. The method successfully detected respiratory pauses by identifying lack of chest movements. The approach can be useful in diagnosing central apnoea. In central apnoea, respiratory pauses are accompanied by cessation of chest or abdominal movements. The devised system will require clinical trials and integration into an incubator by conforming to the medical devices directives. The study demonstrated the integration of IoMT-US for measuring respiration rate and respiratory signal. The US produced respiration rate readings compared well with the actual signal generator's settings of the platform that simulated chest movements.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Saatchi, Reza [0000-0002-2266-0187]
Additional Information: Director of studies: Prof. Reza Saatchi "No PQ harvesting"
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2021 17:48
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 02:06

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics