With the availability of new microwave-based sensor from Sharp, you don't need to physically-connect leads to the patients or put some wearable medical electronics devices to read heartbeat and breath rate.
The new microwave sensor from Sharp DC6M4JN3000, can detect human and animal body motion and biological functions such as heartbeats and breathing from a distance of 3 M from the patient, without having any physical contact attached to the body of the patient. Another feature in these wireless RF sensor is, they can detect/sense with obstacles like mattresses, doors, and walls between the patient and the microwave sensor.
DC6M4JN3000 emits microwave radiation on human or animal subject, the reflected microwaves provides signals on heart rate and breathing rate of lungs. Basically the sensor module uses microwave satellite-television antenna technology, proprietary signal-processing circuit and an algorithm for detecting biological functions.
If you look at the accuracy, DC6M4JN3000 is capable of measuring heart rate within a margin of error of ±10% when placed roughly three meters away from the target subject.
Elderly-care or nursing-care is the target market for products built out of these sensors. These sensors will not work if there are metal like conducting obstruction between the patient and sensor, because microwaves do not pass through the metal layers.
Directionality Azimuth: 25°, elevation: 20°
Power supply voltage 3.2 to 3.6 V
Power consumption Typ. 100 mA
Output frequency 24.05 to 24.25 GHz
Dimensions RF module (including antenna): 31.0 x 47.5 x 16.0 mm
Signal processing substrate: 30.0 x 46.5 x 5.0 mm
Operating temperature –20 to 50°C