New method measures vital signs with radio waves

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Engineers at Cornell University have developed a method for gathering blood pressure, heart rate and respiration without using a blood-pressure cuff or stethoscope. Instead, they use a radio-frequency system similar to the RFID tags used as anti-theft devices in stores, and recently in smart shopping bags or to track luggage at airports. The tags developed by the researchers emit radio waves that bounce off the patients’ body and send the data they gather to an electronic reader. The reader can be located at a distance from the patient, allowing physicians to remotely monitor patients.

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