This semester I finally get to take my BME senior design class! This is literally the class that our undergraduate curriculum builds up to – when we work on a commercially viable product for clinical use. Needless to say, I’m pretty excited. I’ve been doing hands on design all four years, including building a working guitar, a version of pokemon designed with hardware only, an iPhone app for patients with diabetes, simulated medical imaging tools, and more, but this is the first time when an entire class is devoted to the development process.
We are just learning the potential of LabVIEW, the industry-standard software we’ll be using to create the project, through labs right now. We’ll eventually know how to use the following sensors and more:
1) Electrocardiogram and related signals
2) Temperature with infrared thermometer
3) Temperature with surface temperature sensor
4) Handgrip or chest-belt wireless heart rate monitor
5) Non-invasive blood pressure with pressure cuff
6) Gas pressure sensor
7) Air-filled belt to use with the gas pressure sensor to monitor breathing movements
8) Force plate
9) Hand-held dynamometer
10) 3-axis accelerometer
11) Force sensor
12) Pulse oximeter
13) Electroencephalograhy device
15) “Kinect” cameras
So far the hardest part is deciding what we want to do for our (group) project! I’ve come up with a bunch of ideas (and only a few of them involve using sensors to monitor somebody playing DDR :D), and my group is meeting soon to narrow down all our ideas into one final awesome idea!
According to our professor, past projects have included everything from taking physiological measurements on a member of the crew team to improve his performance to using a webcam to interpret sign language!
We don’t have to use all the sensors, but we have to use at least three. I want to use as many as possible, and really the possibilities are endless because if we can make a case that a sensor our professor currently doesn’t own would help our project, he’ll buy it!