Smart health sensor brings medical-grade monitoring to smartphones

Posted By : Alex Lynn
Smart health sensor brings medical-grade monitoring to smartphones

Supplier of high performance sensor solutions, ams, has introduced the AS7026, an optical sensor for continuous cardiovascular health monitoring which performs blood pressure measurement to medical-grade1 accuracy. When included in the ams VivaVita accessory design, this provides a turnkey solution for customers that need a fast time-to-market and is supplied with a feature-rich mobile app for both the iOS and Android mobile operating systems.

The AS7026 provides continuous heart rate, heart rate variability, blood pressure, and electrocardiography (ECG) measurements when embedded in a consumer device such as a fitness-monitoring wristband or smart watch.

The combination of advanced optical semiconductor technology in the AS7026 with sophisticated algorithms have resulted in unprecedented measurement accuracy in a wearable device form factor: the blood pressure measurement accuracy of the algorithm that the AS7026 runs is rated as medical-grade1 (grade B) when tested according to the IEEE 1708-2014 industry standard.

The high accuracy of the sensor’s cardiovascular measurements creates new potential for consumer and lifestyle devices such as smart watches to provide valuable health-monitoring data 24/7 that would normally require the use of dedicated medical equipment, often only available in a hospital or doctor’s surgery.

Dr Reiner Jumpertz, Vice President + General Manager for Color & Spectral Sensors business line at ams, said: “By use of convenient, comfortable devices such as a wristband or watch equipped with an AS7026 sensor, consumers can become as aware of their normal blood pressure and other key heart health indicators as they are of familiar physical indicators such as height and weight. They can then use these data to take a more active and informed approach to personal health management and lifestyle choices.”

Consuming little power, and packaged as a complete 6.2x2.8x1.0mm optical module, the AS7026 enables life-saving smart health monitoring to be performed 24/7 by battery-powered devices. The small size of the sensor provides scope to develop innovative new applications for health monitoring technology, from in-ear devices such as earphones and hearing aids to toilet seats.

The AS7026 features a high-performance optical stack which offers high sensitivity, low noise and high rejection of ambient light. This has the effect of dramatically reducing power consumption, an important attribute because of the small size of the battery in wearable and mobile devices. In addition, the AS7026’s new optical stack achieves excellent signal quality with every skin colour as classified in von Luschan’s chromatic scale.

The high performance of the AS7026 is demonstrated in the VivaVita mobile reference design developed by ams. This is a production-ready, five by five centimetre mobile accessory which shows the full range of the sensor’s capabilities, including:

  • Heart rate measurement
  • Photoplethysmographs
  • ECG
  • Blood pressure measurement
  • Vagal tone measurement

The VivaVita was used as the reference platform for FDA certification of the blood pressure algorithm for medical use. FDA certification for the algorithm used in the AS7026 is expected to be granted in August 2019.

The VivaVita accessory design, this provides a turnkey solution for customers that need a fast time-to-market and is supplied with a feature-rich mobile app for both the iOS and Android mobile operating systems.

Engineering samples of the AS7026 and its evaluation kit are available now on request from ams sales offices and representatives. Mass production starts in May 2019. Unit pricing of the AS7026 sensor in order quantities of 10,000 pieces is $3.61.


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