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Design Day Projects
Program: Electrical and Computer Engineering
In the uncertain times of the Covid-19 pandemic, portable medical devices are
increasingly becoming a necessity, as not everyone has access to key technology found in
hospitals. In particular, vital signs, which are critical to monitor in a hospital setting to keep track
of a patient’s health during a health crisis. However, many vitals measuring devices are big,
stationary, and expensive. While this is useful in most hospital settings, there is potential to
innovate on similar devices that are portable and usable in at-home settings, especially as we are
advised to stay at home throughout the pandemic. For a person who fears they may be infected
with Covid-19, the ability to measure vital signs easily is incredibly important so they can
monitor their conditions and determine if they need to visit the hospital. Furthermore, hospital
vital sign devices may not always be available in more low-resource settings where hospital
technology is far more limited, or in places like airplanes and passenger trains where medical
emergencies are harder to deal with. With a portable and affordable device, monitoring a
patient’s health would be far easier. Fortunately, we have created a device that can accomplish
this task and fulfill this need.
We have created a device called the VitalCorder – a portable vital signs monitor capable
of measuring heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, body temperature, respiration rate, and even
ECG. This device is small, portable, and usable outside of hospitals. While not intended as a
replacement for hospital vitals measuring technology, the VitalCorder is an affordable way for
people to use for personal vital signs monitoring in at-home settings or in public. We intend to
sell this device at a much lower cost than most other vital signs devices. Many of these devices
retail for several thousand dollars, whereas we hope to sell our device at about $200 to maintain
affordability and accessibility.
Portable vital sensing devices are a growing market – currently valued at $5.1 billion, and
expected to grow to $9.1 billion by 2026. Our product has several uses, and therefore several
potential markets: it can be used in airlines, trains, mines. For example, there are over 5000
airlines, all of which require an emergency medical kit. Our device could be used to help check
for chest pains, abdominal pains, and breathing problems during in-flight medical emergencies.
In addition, as previously stated, people diagnosed or concerned with COVID-19 can use this
device while staying at home to monitor their vitals and determine the intensity of their illness,
so they know if seeking further medical attention is necessary