Radar can be used to track a plane over the horizon, but at much closer ranges—say, on the other side of a bedroom—it can now help detect a person’s vital signs without the need for physical sensor patches, wires or wearables.
That’s the pitch from hardware developer Xandar Kardian, which aims to deliver a no-fuss monitoring solution to nursing homes and hospitals. Using about the same amount of energy as a strong WiFi connection, the company’s device can trace the nearly imperceptible movements of the human body to log a person’s resting heart rate and breathing.
And now, after eight years in development, its XK300 non-contact monitoring system has snagged an FDA clearance, to automatically alert clinicians when a person’s vital signs drop below normal levels.
The regulatory green light—which applies to patients from infants to the elderly—allows it to be used in general hospital wards, as well as all categories of nursing homes, including specialized facilities. It's also cleared for at-home health monitoring, the company said.
Typically, the XK300’s small white dome is mounted on a wall over a bed frame. Xandar Kardian has previously used its radar-based technology to power smart home systems, to log whether a person is in a room and automatically control lights and air conditioning.
Translated to the hospital setting, the sensors are designed to help reduce the number of routine spot checks, lowering staff burdens and allowing them to keep tabs at a distance when dealing with COVID-19 or other infectious diseases.
Radio waves have also been used to detect falls among seniors, such as with Vayyar Imaging’s Walabot Home device. Its cameraless approach can also help users maintain their privacy, with waves passing through walls and objects to cover sensitive locations where dangerous falls may be more likely to happen, such as in the bathroom.