Wireless sensors that monitor your heart even though they do not actually touch your skin are at the center of UC San Diego electrical engineering PhD student Yu Mike Chi's dissertation. This technology and the plan for commercializing it earned Chi and his Cognionics team the top spot in the UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge. The prize includes $25K in cash for the startup and $15K in legal services.
Engineers and physicians are increasingly looking to wireless technologies and innovative circuit designs to develop sensors that cut health care costs through better preventative care and shorter hospital stays. Wireless sensors also offer patients more freedom than wired sensors hooked to machines. The UC San Diego wireless sensor project could lead to unobtrusive heart sensors for long term cardiac health monitoring that do not touch the skin and do not tether patients to machines.
The sensors record "biopotentials" tiny voltage signals that appear on the skin surface. Biopotentials emanate from electrically active cells, such as neurons and cardiac cells, and propagate through the conductive media of the human body.
At the final phase of the 2009-2010 UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge, on June 2, Chi gave a 12 minute presentation of the Cognionics business plan to the panel of judges, followed by an 8 minute question-answer period. When the Q&A finished with a few minutes to spare, Chi quickly set up a live demo. Pressing the sensor into his chest, over his clothes, the electrical activity of his heart appeared on the giant presentation screen.
Chi is also working on wireless sensors that record brain activity, though these sensors are not part of the winning business plan.
Chi is developing these technologies under the guidance of professor Gert Cauwenberghs from the Department of Bioengineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. Cauwenberghs is also Co-Director of the UCSD Institute for Neu
|Contact: Daniel Kane|
University of California - San Diego