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BIOTELEMETRY

ABSTRACT Biotelemetry is a vital constituent in the field of medical sciences. It entails remote measurement of biological parameters. Transmission of physiological data from point of generation to the point of reception can take many forms. Biotelemetry, using wireless diagnosis, can monitor electronically the symptoms and movements of patients. This development has opened up avenues for medical diagnosis and treatment. It enables monitoring of activity levels in patients suffering from heart troubles, asthma, pain, Alzheimer’s disease, mood disorders, cardiovascular problems, accidents, etc. A patient’s response and reaction to drugs can also be investigated for treatment. Radio telemetry transmits biological data using various radio transmission techniques. No wires are required to be attached to the patient’s body. The patient just carries a bracelet-sized transmitter that enables monitoring of the patients symptoms. Carrier modulation, physiological data encoding, frequency and time division multiplexing blocking oscillator or Endoradiosonde, receivers and antennas for Biotelemetry, power sources, and transcutaneous power transfer are discussed in this paper.

INTRODUCTION Biotelemetry is a vital constituent in the field of medical sciences. It entails remote measurement of biological parameters. Transmission of physiological data from point of generation to the point of reception can take many forms. Biotelemetry, using wireless diagnosis, can monitor electronically the symptoms and movements of patients. This development has opened up avenues for medical diagnosis and treatment. It enables monitoring of activity levels in patients suffering from heart troubles, asthma, pain, Alzheimer’s disease, mood disorders, cardiovascular problems, accidents, etc. A patient’s response and reaction to drugs can also be investigated for treatment. Radio telemetry transmits biological data using various radio transmission techniques. No wires are required to be attached to the patient’s body. The patient just carries a bracelet-sized transmitter that enables monitoring of the patients symptoms. Carrier modulation, physiological data encoding, frequency and time division multiplexing blocking oscillator or Endoradiosonde, receivers and antennas for Biotelemetry, power sources, and transcutaneous power transfer are discussed in this paper. EVOLUTION OF BIOTELEMETRY

Technology

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When

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freetechpapers.com .FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www. PCM. Magnetically Coupled Transcutaneous Data Transfer.R. PCM Encoding.freetechpapers. PDM and PCM Encoding.com By wire Endroradiosonde Multiplexed Physiologic signals Multiplexed Physiologic Signals. Next technologies S.Winters Stuart Mackay Many Investigators Many Investigators Many Investigations 1921 1950’s 1970’s Electrode wires to a Galvanometer Transistor Blocking Readily oscillator Available FDM FM encoding 1970’s to Present 1980's to Present Present and future TDM TDM PIM. Spread Spectrum ? Portably TDM HISTORY OF BIOTELEMETRY THE FIRST WILDLIFE TRANSMITTER Above ground range: 25 yards Below ground range: 8 yards Transmitter breaking through the skin Batteries last 161 days FURTHER DEVELOPMENT NEEDED Can’t be used in any critters smaller than a woodchuck Range of 18-25 yards not adequate for some species. or inaccessible locations Transmitter could not be recovered after it died EXTERNAL TRANSMITTER Studied porcupines in Minnesota FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www.

freetechpapers.com Used miniature transmitters Home made harnesses Modified dog harnesses for immature Allowed them to make general statements about porcupines TRANSMITTER One-transistor. including batteries Battery 9” x 6” x 5” Commercial receivers equal or better.freetechpapers. crystal-controlled oscillator Copper or aluminum 10 grams (without battery) RECEIVER Portable. battery-operated 10 lbs.FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www.com . but not portable FIELD USE Portable receiver Using the “null” Tracking a moving animal Tracking a stationary animal Accuracy IMPROVEMENTS Efficiency improves Encapsulation for effective. weatherproof FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www.

com . electrical storms PHYSIOLOGICAL DATA Respiration Temperature Heart rate FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www. data read and tabulated Tune receivers every 2 hours Power line problems. free-roaming animals Grizzly bear transmitter AUTOMATIC TRACKING SYSTEMS Outputs of receivers linked to “visual indicator tubes” Records of signals made on 16 mm film Film developed.freetechpapers.freetechpapers. collars.FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www. become commercially available NEW VARIATIONS Activity indicator Death indicator Urination indicator Automatic tracking system DEATH INDICATOR “Dead animals are hard to find” Penned vs. etc.com Less prone to damage from the animals Lighter weight batteries Transmitter.

automatic tracking Lots of animals tracked at once. Location of the patient is derived from time.of-arrival calculations.freetechpapers. with limited scope. This tracking system can be used within the hospital premises. When the patient wearing the transmitter device attached to his wrist. emergency signals are transmitted. periodic RF signals are sent to the modem.FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www.com . in real time OPERATION AND COMPONENTS 4.com Blood pressure SATELLITE TRACKING: IMPETUS Whales Sea turtles Polar bears Polar bears Elephants Avian orientation and navigation ADVANTAGES OF SATELLITE TRACKING Impervious to weather Latitude and longitude Good for isolated areas Migrating animals Long.1 OPERATION Current radio monitoring systems keep thousands of patients under surveillance. A network of receivers FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www. whose size may range from a bracelet to a small pocket transistor. When the patient’s health condition becomes worse. Central receiving station tunes into a transmitter. simple telephone modem. The modem sends out an alert signal to both the patient and to the central monitoring station. waist etcleaves a specified range. and central receiving station.928 MHz to transmit signals of the patient’s condition alone with whereabouts. Biotelemetry systems consist of transmitter. The system uses spread spectrum techniques operating in the RF band of 902.freetechpapers. Each patient is equipped with a pager sized personal monitoring as well as alarm system. The mobile unit attached to the patient has an output of nearly 1W. chest.

Location is display on a map at central facility in the hospital/ treatment center. Tracking is done by a spread spectrum. PHYSIOLOGICAL PARAMETERS Any quantity that can be measured in the biomedical field is adaptable to biotelemetry. 4. Signals are obtained directly in the electric form. Transducers are used for the conversion of physiological parameters into an electrical signal. and a central receiving station. And finally. Base signal is modulated for transmission. Such radio pills are available to measure temperature. blood flow etc require some excitation or external electrical parameters. Power for the transmitter is from a battery. pH. amplifiers. etc. As it passed through the gastro. 5. Other applications include monitoring of athletes running a race in an effort to improve their performance.2 COMPONENTS A basic biotelemetry system consists of – besides a transmitter. The leads from the electrodes are brought to a small transmitter installed on the animals’ head. The measurements are divided in to two categories: bioelectrical and physiological variables. The actual equipments worn by the subject is quite comfortable and usually does not impede movement. the patient or subject wears a belt around the waist with a pocket for the transmitter.1. simple modem. which had a volume less than 1cm and could be swallowed by the patient. Bioelectrical variables include measurements like ECG. This triangulation technology is applied to locate the origins of all emergency signals send and users with personal two – way digital wireless communication devices. One example is in the space biology program.com scattered through out the specified area picks up the signals with health condition of patient. The earliest (1952) biotelemetry transmitter was the “ Endo radiosonde”. EMG. usually a mercury cell.2 EEG TELEMETRY Most of the applications of this telemetry have been involved with experimental animals for research purposes. The pressure-sensing device was a “radio pill”. Telemetry of EEG signals has also been used in the studies of mentally distributed children.intestinal tract.the basic circuits like oscillators. instruct the trained rescue team in their emergency procedures. with a useful life of about 30 hours. In addition to the electrodes that are taped into place. capacitance. The child wears a specifically designed “football helmet” with built.1 ECG TELEMETRY One example of ECG telemetry is the transmission of electrocardiograms from an ambulance or site of an emergency to a hospital. and EEG.in electrodes so that EEG can be continuously FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www. where a cardiologist can immediately interpret the ECG. where chimpanzees have had the necessary EEG electrodes implanted in the brain.com . 5. using triangulation technique based on time of arrival at various receivers. blood pressure. temperature. this signal is detected (demodulated) and converted back to its original form. it measured the pressure at various points it encountered. or inductance. Variations can be calibrated to represent pressure. or blood flow. Parameters are measured as the variation of resistance.1 BIOTELEMETRY FOR BIOELECTRIC POTENTIALS: 5.freetechpapers.freetechpapers. and arrange for any special treatment that may be necessary upon arrival of the patient at the hospital. and enzyme activity also. usually present in a communication system.1. power supply.FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www. Physiological variables such as temperature. and the EEG is transmitted. to locate the patient.

If a miniature receiver is implanted subcutaneous. allowing one transmitter design to be used for different types of measurements.freetechpapers. the cause of these symptoms may be detected when they occur or. The transducers are surgically implanted with leads brought out through the animal’s skin. can be analyzed later. In this application. the electrical signal can be generated remotely. For example. Also. Blood flow also has been studied extensively by telemetry. The telemetry also can be used in transmitting stimulus signals to a patient.3 EMG TELEMETRY The EMG particularly useful for studies of muscle damage and partial paralysis problems and also in human performance studies. If an electrode is surgically implanted and connected to the dead nerve endings.FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www. only to have them disappear just before or during medical examination. One important application of telemetry is in the field of blood pressure and heart rate research in anaesthetized animals. Patients frequently experience pains. 5. With telemetry and long term monitoring. it well known that an electrical impulse can trigger the firing of nerves.freetechpapers.com monitored without traumatic difficulties during play.com . In some cases. telemetry can be employed for the measurement of a wide variety of physiological variables. In addition to constant monitoring of skin temperature or systemic body temperature. 5.2 BIOTELEMETRY USING TRANSDUCERS: By using suitable transducers. Both Doppler-type and electromagnetic-type transducers can be employed. if recorded on magnetic tape. A male plug is attached postoperatively and later connected to the female socket contained in the transmitter unit. A final application is the use of “radio-pills” to monitor stomach pressure or pH. Long-term study of natural birth control by monitoring vaginal temperature has incorporate telemetry units. One advantage of monitoring by telemetry is to circumvent a problem that often hampers medical diagnosis. The use of thermistors to measure temperature is also easily adaptable to telemetry. aches or other symptoms that give trouble for days. an electrical impulse can sometimes cause the nerve to function as they once did.1. the thermistors system has applications in obstetrics and gynecology. One example is the use of telemetry in the treatment of “droop foot” which is one of the most common disabilities resulting from stroke. as many variables can be measured and transmitted simultaneously by multiplexing techniques. UNIVERSAL BIOTELEMETRY SYSTEM FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www. the transducer circuit is designed as a separate “plugin” module to fit into the transmitter. a pill that contains a sensor plus a miniature transmitter is allowed and the data are picked up by a receiver and recorded.

com .com FIGURE 1. called a sub carrier.freetechpapers. modify and process the input received. Signals. each signal is placed on a carrier of a different frequency and all sub FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www. 6. pressure. or other parameters from the patient are converted into electrical form using appropriate transducers. Bioelectrical signals are obtained directly from the patient while physiological variables like temperature. If several physiological signals are to be transmitted simultaneously.FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www. The modulated carrier or the transmission medium takes the signals to the remote monitoring station where the signals are first detected and then passed through a demultiplexer and decoder. where the encoded is transmitted across transmission media with the help of a transmitter. are then taken as output. It combines or relates the output of two or more transducers. often in the audio frequency range. signal-conditioning circuit produces an output to satisfy the function and makes signals suitable for transmission. Even though the input it receives is an electrical signal. The sub carrier in turn modulates the RF signal to be propagated and sent to the antenna.freetechpapers. which are decoded.1 THE TRANSMITTER Mobile units attached to the patient consist of a transmitter. BLOCK DIAGRAM FOR UNIVERSAL BIOTELEMETRY SYSTEM Any signals (Physiological) are fed into the signal conditioner and then to an encoder. Transmission and receiving circuits act upon the physiological signal from the signal conditioning equipment. Signal conditioning is used to amplify. The physiological signal modulates a low-frequency carrier.

6.1. At lower discharge rates the terminal voltage will stay almost constant until the last 5% of the battery’s life.com carriers are combined to simultaneously modulate the RF carrier. This process of transmitting many channels of data on a single carrier.1. The silver oxide FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www. TRANSMITTER UNIT 6. called frequency multiplexing. POWER SOURCE (BATTERY) Lithium and silver oxide batteries are most commonly used for wildlife transmitters. is more efficient. FIGURE 2. The sub-carrier is modulated either by AM (amplitude modulation) or FM (frequency modulation). Lithium batteries can be stored at room temperature for 10years and still retain 70% of their rated capacity. The shelf is reduced to 5 years at significantly elevated temperatures. and battery life is proportional to pulse period and inversely proportional to pulse width and signal strength. POWER SOURCE (BATTERY) 3.com . ANTENNA 2. TRANSMITTER BLOCK DIAGRAM TRANSMITTER COMPONENTS: 1.FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www. meaning they maintain a relatively constant terminal voltage until the last 15% of their life for significant discharge rates.freetechpapers.2. ANTENNA The two most common types of transmitting antenna are external whip antenna and the internal coil antenna.freetechpapers.1. The external whip is most frequently used and preferred because it has a better signal than internal coil antenna. Lithium batteries have a flat discharge curve.

the longer the life and range of the unit. needing a minimum of 2. They are packaged in a metal can or covered with an epoxy or acrylic resin coating. The tuner has a tuning circuit. There are onestage and two-stage circuits. Batteries may also be rechargeable and changeable in the field. Two stage transmitters consist of a basic oscillator and an amplifier.FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www.2 THE RECEIVER FIGURE 3. 6. 6.com battery is also noted for its extremely stable discharge voltage and good shelf life. Smaller transmitters and batteries are encased in a waterproof epoxy resin. used especially in larger transmitters. and larger models are enclosed in an aluminum or nylon case filled with waterproof resin.com . Sub carriers are then demodulated to reproduce original physiological signals emitted by the patient. Signals can be stored on any secondary storage media like tape. A recorder records physiological signals for future reference. magnetic disks.4 volts for power. The multiplexed RF carrier is demodulated to recover the individual sub carriers. The receiver consists of tuner. chart recorder etc.freetechpapers. When the circuit is tuned to receive signals. demodulator. 6.3 MODULATION TECHNIQUES FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www. but have a greater range for a given weight of tag. having a renewable energy source and requiring no battery. RECEIVER BLOCK DIAGRAM It is the receiving station. They weigh more and have a shorter life. One-stage transmitters have a design and low weight. etc.1. The larger the battery. Transmitters may also have solar power. Other batteries. and displaying system. the appropriate signal is selected and the unwanted signals are rejected.3. with less range for a given weight of tag and longer life. Batteries are sealed and may be encased with the transmitter. may use 3-volt or 6-8 volt battery circuits. Charge retention is over 84% after two years of storage at 70’F(21’C). CRT or computer monitor. situated at the hospital/treatment center. TRANSMITTER UNIT Transmitters are available as complete units or as components assembled by the researcher.freetechpapers. It receives the multiplexed RF carrier emitted by the patient’s transmitter. Display system used can be a CRO. as shown in fig.

An FM/ AM designation means that both the sub carriers and the RF carrier are frequency modulated. The implanted transmitter is especially useful in animal’s studies. Either frequency or amplitude modulation can be used for interesting data on the sub carriers. the width of each pulse is varied according to the information. where the equipment must be protected from the animals. The sub carrier then modulates the RF carrier of the transmitters. Also. Silicon encapsulation is commonly used. often to just a few feet.com . it must then the demodulated to retrieve the original physiological signals. Amplitude modulated systems are susceptible to natural and man-made electrical inference. it is no longer available for serving and the life of the unit depends on how long the battery can supply the necessary current. In amplitude-modulated system.freetechpapers. because in variations in the amplitude of the received signal caused by interference can be removed at the receiver before demodulation takes place. in which the transmission carrier is generated in a series of short pulses. If the amplitude of pulses is used to represent the transmitted information. each signal is placed on a sub carrier of a different frequency and all of the sub carriers are combined to simultaneously modulate the RF carrier. An FM system is much less susceptible to interference. The common denominator for most of other approaches is a technique known as pulse modulation. Another problem has been the encapsulation of the unit. In simple terms. Mercury and silver oxide primary batteries have been used extensively. often in the audio frequency range. In biotelemetry systems. FM transmission is often used for telemetry. a multiplexed RF carrier is first demodulated to recover each of the separate sub carriers. If several physiological signals are to be transmitted simultaneously. Since the body fluids and skin greatly attenuate the signal . Both FM/AM and FM/ FM. Because of this reduced interference. Once a unit is implanted. The power source is of great importance. if power is not needed continuously.freetechpapers. a pulse modulation (PWM). system results. the frequency of the carrier is caused to vary with the modulated signal. Implantable telemetry batteries vary in physical size and electrical capacity. where as. sub carrier. The outer case and any writing must be impervious to body fluids and moisture. radio frequency switches can be used to turn the system on and off on command. IMPLANTABLE UNITS Some it is desirable to implant the telemetry or receiver subcutaneous. the range of signal is quite restricted.com The two basic systems of system modulation are amplitude modulation (AM) and frequency modulation (FM). The methods mentioned are discussed below. the physiological signal is sometimes used to modulate a low frequency carrier. systems have been used in biotelemetry. Standard radio broadcast stations utilize this method of modulation.FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www. A system in which the sub carriers are frequency modulated and the RF carriers are amplitude modulated is designated as FM / AM. depending on the application. 6. the method is called pulse modulation (PAM). In frequency-modulated system. the complete implantable telemetry transmitter system consists of the FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www. The use of implanted unit also restricts the distance of transmission of the signal. This disadvantages has been overcome by picking up the signal with a near by antenna and transmitting it.4. the amplitude of the carrier is caused to vary with the information being transmitted. This process of transmitting many channels of data on a single RF carrier is called frequency multiplexing. At the receiver.

Research is in progress for upgrades. as well as a potential reduction of the total cost of patient care. Reduction of the risk for electroshock. Telemetry for elementary patient monitoring. Collection of medical data from a home or office. Two-way voice transmission is used in conjunction with telemetry to facilitate identification of the telemetered information and to provide instructions for treatment. The transducers are implanted surgically in the position required for a particular measurement. Telemetry for ECG measurements during exercise. Reduction of the psychological effects on the information source. 5.freetechpapers. the leads from transducer to the transmitter. the transmitter unit itself and power supplies. 6 Biotelemetry for space life sciences research ADVANTAGES Reduction of the impediment of the information source (patient.FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www. LIMITATIONS & ALTERNATIVES 9. 2. unanesthized animals in their natural habitat. Telemetry of ECG’s from extended coronary care patients b.com transducer. Research on unrestrained. Practical systems are being developed to build on existing technology and public FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www. Applications of telemetry in patient care a. Through the use of such equipment. 4. his ECG cannot be monitored. Reduction of the complexity of monitoring of physiological variables. Isolation of an electrically susceptible patient from power line operated ECG equipment to protect him from accident or shock. Telemetry of this requires mush powerful transmitters than ordinary systems.com . Measurement of the temperature and position of the egg in a nest by telemetry system. Reduction of measuring artifacts. This works describes a biotelemetry system for continuous monitoring of temperature and position of an artificial radio transmitter egg in a mall bird nest. If the patient goes beyond the range of the system. such as in aorta or other arteries for blood pressure.1 LIMITATIONS The system has inherent limitations. In many areas ambulances and emergency rescue teams are equipped with telemetry equipment to allow electrocardiograms and other physiological data to be transmitted to a near by hospital for interpretation. 3. c. Movement of the patient is restricted. APPLICATIONS OF TELEMETRY 1. ECG’s can be interpreted and treatment begun before the patient arrives at the hospital. subject or animal).freetechpapers.

number of patients qualified as system users. etc would be the best to explore the alternatives.com . it is easy to realize and implement biotelemetry without much effort and cost. Economic consideration such as cost of the society in comparison with outlay for the existing system. There is need to create interest in this field and initiate research activities. universities and end users such as hospitals.com • www.freetechpapers. methods improving the communication infrastructure in the locale. A demonstration system could be developed and tried out on patients. Biotelemetry will enable patients to move and perform their daily chores without any worry or mental stress of the unpredictable attack due to their body disorders. FUTURE SCOPES • BiotransceiversCollect data from/ send commends to an implanted biotelemeter • Smart sensors. 9. etc need to be examined. BIBLIOGRAPHY • Biomedical Instrumentation and Measurements by Leslie Cromwell & Fred J.Small. Since the technology uses the existing communication infrastructure. ethics.incorporate signal conditioning (and potentially even more function) into sensors • Reduced volume implantable biotelemeters.change with improvements in patient care treatment.com FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www. lower power consumption. unrestrained monitoring.com • www. size of the market.continuing advances in integrated circuit fabrications will reduced physical size • Reduced power requirements.freetechpapers. social impacts and safeguards etc are the other issues to be considered. reliable.com infrastructure. integrated circuits. Legal changes.FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www.habitresearch. Weibell • www.ieee. national laboratories. communication and interface standards. • Increased functional sophistication. The consortium could study the feasibility of such systems. packaged for lead wire-free.electronicsforu. which automatically sends the vital signals to the hospitals. health care centers.2 ALTERNATIVES A consortium of private companies. and human aspects such as which types of patients would be candidates for these systems. • Biotelemeter on a chip • Human implantable Biotelemeter. Patients who need continuous monitoring can wear a biotelemetry device. nonprofit organizations. CONCLUSION Use of biotelemetry techniques in medical science will bring out a sea.Lower operating voltage.Integrated circuit advances will offer more functionality to biotelemeters.

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