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UW researchers out with new touchless device to prevent heart issues

Last Updated Jan 8, 2016 at 1:16 pm EST

Professor Alexander Wong and Robert Amelard at the Schlegel-University of Waterloo Research Institute for Aging analyzing blood-flow data extracted with their new touchless device, pictured right. (Credit: UWaterloo/Fred Hunsberger)

It’s a new way of monitoring vital signs and preventing heart issues.

The device is called Coded Hemodynamic Imaging and is a portable system that keeps track of a patient’s blood flow without actually touching the person.

PhD Student Robert Amelard tells 570 News that the device tracks blood flow at not one, but multiple points on the body.

He says the device is similar to measuring traffic flow and rather than focusing on one intersection they are able to map out an entire city.

Continuous data collection at different parts of the body provides a more complete picture of what’s happening in the body.

The device can also monitor multiple patients at once – something that could come in handy at long-term care homes or during mass emergency situations.

Amelard says the end goal is to have different models of the device that anyone can use – whether it be in a hospital or at home.

“What we can be focusing on is prevention of a heart attack in the first place and be continuously monitoring your vital signs to see ‘is there a change that has happened? Why is there this change?’ and have a lot more targeted health care for each individual.”

He says since the device doesn’t actually touch the skin, it’s ideal for assessing patients with painful burns, highly contagious diseases, or infants in neonatal intensive care.

You can read more about the device here.