NASA 1998 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 98-1 09.08-5585

PROJECT TITLE: Multiple Physiological Variables Monitored Non-Invasively from a Single Site

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

The proposed research is focused on a virtual instrument version of a system that acquires multiple variables of meaningful, clinically-relevant physiological data from a single location on the human body in an unobtrusive, non-invasive manner. Heart rate and pulse oximetry have achieved almost universal monitoring status in both hospital and non-hospital settings; however, the monitoring of continuous core temperatures has not received widespread use mainly because of measurement site problems with oral and rectal probes. NASA continues to have an unmet need for continuously monitoring core temperatures in the unencumbered crewmember, especially during EVA and exercise. The development of infrared techniques for the intermittent measurement of tympanic membrane temperature together with miniaturized multi-variable sensor systems which can be worn comfortably in the ear of an ambulatory subject. Significant innovations are required to measure continuous core temperature, miniaturize the sensors, and provide for simultaneous data acquisition without interference. The proposed effort will provide NASA with a virtual instrument based upon an extension of the technology described in U.S. Patent 5,673,692.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

Hospitals, free-standing surgicenters, sub-acute care units, nursing homes, and ambulances are all potential customers for products derived from the proposed research. In additiont to solving an unmet need for NASA in monitoring core temperature and oxygen saturation, the system will also serve specialized markets in clinical sleep laboratories and basic research laboratories. A recent drop in the number of hospital beds has been accompanied by a rise in alternative care facilities. In 1994, two independent marketing studies established that the demand for the proposed product exists. The studies found that nurses were most enthusiastic about the concept. It was also found that physician attitudes were cautious in some areas while encouraging in others based upon the limited description that they were given. The "virtual intrument" will enable further testing of the concept and its acceptability in the clinical marketplace. The proposed research will be incorporated into the virtual instrument which will be used to develop a line of products that best meet the demands of the healthcare industry.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Arthur E. Schulze
Healthcare Technology Group, Inc.
6901 Corporate Dr., Suite 111
Houston , TX 77036

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR

Healthcare Technology Group, Inc.
6901 Corporate Dr., Suite 111
Houston , TX 77036