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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Pressure-Sensing Device with Biplanar Sensor Array", for Approval

May 8, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventor Anderson, Mark (Taipei City, TW), filed on October 12, 2012, was made available online on April 24, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Medicustek Inc.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present disclosure relates to electronic devices, and more particularly, pressure-sensing devices.

"There are a number of existing methods and apparatuses that are capable of providing for real-time monitoring of a patient's vital statistics ('vitals'). These apparatuses include electrocardiogram recorders, heart rate monitors, blood pressure monitors, electroencephalographs, pulse monitors, oximeters, carbon dioxide meters, thermostats, scales, maternal uterine activity monitors, and various other non-invasive medical instruments.

"However, there is an urgent need for advances in medical instrumentation that monitors patient position and motion in bed. Such monitoring can enable the early warning of health professionals when a patient experiences a seizure or when a patient at risk of falling attempts to exit the bed. Analysis of changes in patient position and movement behavior over time can provide insight into underlying health and responses to medication. These changes are indicative of sleep patterns, activity levels, body repositioning in response to perceived pain, and susceptibility to decubitus ulcers (pressure sores) due to lack of movement. Understanding this 'body language' is especially relevant when caring for patients who have difficulty communicating with health professionals and caregivers."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "The following presents a simplified summary of the disclosure in order to provide a basic understanding to the reader. This summary is not an extensive overview of the disclosure and it does not identify key/critical elements of the present invention or delineate the scope of the present invention. Its sole purpose is to present some concepts disclosed herein in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description that is presented later.

"In one aspect, the present disclosure is directed to a pressure-sensing device that can be used for monitoring a patient.

"According to one embodiment of the present invention, a pressure-sensing device includes a pressure sensor pad. The pressure is sensor pad includes a first planar substrate, a second planar substrate, first signal lines, second signal lines, a plurality of rows of first sensor components, and a plurality of columns of second sensor components. The first signal lines and the rows of first sensor components are formed on the first planar substrate, and each row of the first sensor components is connected to a corresponding one of the first signal lines. The second planar substrate is disposed opposite to the first planar substrate. The second signal lines and the columns of second sensor components are formed on the second planar substrate, and each column of the second sensor components is connected to a corresponding one of the second signal lines, where the second sensor components face the first sensor components respectively, and any one of the first sensor components and a corresponding one of the second sensor components construct a pressure sensor.

"Each of the first and second sensor components is a hexagonal sensor component.

"Each of the first sensor components includes a first conductive loop and a plurality of first conductive lines. The first conductive loop is formed on the first planar substrate. The first conductive lines are disposed within and connected to the first conductive loop, and arranged in a first direction.

"In addition, each of the second sensor components includes a second conductive loop and a plurality of second conductive lines. The second conductive loop is formed on the second planar substrate. The second conductive lines are disposed within and connected to the second conductive loop, and arranged in a second direction.

"The first sensor components consist of conductive material printed on the first planar substrate, and the second sensor components consist of conductive material printed on the second planar substrate.

"The pressure sensor pad may include a plurality of spacers. The spacers are disposed between the first planar substrate and the second planar substrate.

"The spacers can be divided into first spacers fastened on the first planar substrate and second spacers fastened on the second planar substrate, and the first spacers and the second spacers can be coupled together, so as to prevent the first and second sensor components from misalignment.

"The first planar substrate or the second planar substrate is flexible for allowing contact between the first and second planar substrates when a sufficient force is applied to the first or second planar substrates.

"The first and second sensor components are about the same size.

"Each of the first and second sensor components has about the same shape.

"Each of the first and second sensor components has a convex shape.

"The first sensor components are formed on only one side of the first planar substrate, and the second sensor components are formed on only one side of the second planar substrate.

"The first signal lines are select lines, and the second signal lines are read lines; alternatively, the first signal lines are read lines, and the second signal lines are select lines.

"The pressure-sensing device may further include a scanning unit and a measuring unit. The scanning unit can periodically scan the select lines one by one. The measuring unit can measure resulting signals on the read lines.

"The pressure-sensing device may further include a processing unit. The processing unit can detect a pressure state of each of the pressure sensors based on the resulting electric signals.

"When any one of the resulting electric signals is relatively low, the pressure state of a corresponding one of the pressure sensors is an OFF state; when any one of the resulting electric signals is relatively high, the pressure state of a corresponding one of the pressure sensors is an ON state.

"When a patient lies on the pressure sensor pad, the processing unit calculates variations of the resulting electric signals to analyze the body position and motion of the patient.

"A connection between the processing unit and the scanning unit is wireless, and a connection between the processing unit and the measuring unit is wireless.

"According to another embodiment of the present invention, a pressure-sensing device includes a pressure sensor pad. The pressure sensor pad includes a first planar substrate, a second planar substrate, first signal lines, second signal lines, third signal lines, fourth signal lines, a first matrix array of sensor components, and a second matrix array of sensor components. The first signal lines are formed on the first planar substrate. The second signal lines are formed on the first planar substrate and are disconnected from the first signal lines. The first matrix array of sensor components is formed on the first planar substrate, where the first matrix array of sensor components is divided into a plurality of rows of first sensor components connected to the first signal lines and a plurality of columns of second sensor components connected to the second signal lines. The second planar substrate is disposed opposite to the first planar substrate. The third signal lines are formed on the second planar substrate. The fourth signal lines are formed on the second planar substrate and are disconnected from the third signal lines. The second matrix array of sensor components is formed on the second planar substrate, where the second matrix array of sensor components is divided into a plurality of rows of third sensor components connected to the third signal lines and a plurality of columns of fourth sensor components connected to the fourth signal lines. The second matrix array of sensor components faces the first matrix array of sensor components respectively, any one of the first sensor components and a corresponding one of the fourth sensor components construct a pressure sensor, any of the second sensor components and a corresponding one of the third sensor components construct a pressure sensor, and an arrangement of the first signal lines, the second signal lines and the first matrix array is equal to an arrangement of the third signal lines, the fourth signal lines and the second matrix array.

"Each of the sensor components is a hexagonal sensor component.

"Each sensor component of the first matrix array includes a first conductive loop and a plurality of first conductive lines. The first conductive loop is formed on the first planar substrate. The first conductive lines are disposed within and connected to the first conductive loop, and arranged in a first direction.

"In addition, each sensor component of the second matrix array includes a second conductive loop and a plurality of second conductive lines. The second conductive loop is formed on the second planar substrate. The second conductive lines are disposed within and connected to the second conductive loop, and arranged in a second direction.

"The first matrix array of sensor components consists of conductive material printed on the first planar substrate, and the second matrix array of sensor components consists of conductive material printed on the second planar substrate.

"The pressure sensor pad may include a plurality of spacers. The spacers are disposed between the first planar substrate and the second planar substrate.

"The spacers can be divided into first spacers fastened on the first planar substrate and second spacers fastened on the second planar substrate, and the first spacers and the second spacers can be coupled together, so as to prevent the first and second sensor components from misalignment.

"The first planar substrate or the second planar substrate is flexible for allowing contact between the first and second planar substrates when a sufficient force is applied to the first or second planar substrates.

"The sensor components are about the same size.

"Each of the sensor components has about the same shape.

"Each of the sensor components has a convex shape.

"The first sensor components are formed on only one side of the first planar substrate, and the second sensor components are formed on only one side of the second planar substrate.

"The first and third signal lines are select lines, and the second and fourth signal lines are read lines; alternatively, the first and third signal lines are read lines, and the second and fourth signal lines are select lines.

"The pressure-sensing device may further include a scanning unit and a measuring unit. The scanning unit can periodically scan the select lines one by one. The measuring unit can measure resulting electric signals on the read lines and select lines.

"The pressure-sensing device may further include a processing unit. The processing unit can detect a pressure state of each of the pressure sensors based on the resulting electric signals.

"When any one of the resulting electric signals is relatively low, the pressure state of a corresponding one of the pressure sensors is an OFF state; when any one of the resulting electric signals is relatively high, the pressure state of a corresponding one of the pressure sensors is an ON state.

"When a patient lies on the pressure sensor pad, the processing unit calculates variations of the resulting electric signals to analyze the body position and motion of the patient.

"A connection between the processing unit and the scanning unit is wireless, and a connection between the processing unit and the measuring unit is wireless.

"Many of the attendant features will be more readily appreciated, as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description considered in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The present description will be better understood from the following detailed description read in light of the accompanying drawing, wherein:

"FIG. 1: Illustration of the process whereby two planar substrates are combined to create a sensor array according to one embodiment of the present disclosure;

"FIG. 2: Illustration of distance distortion using a top view of two adjacent sensors according to an embodiment including sensors that do not have convex shape;

"FIG. 3: Illustration of the fact that if neighboring, or adjacent, sensors that share an edge both have convex shape, then the common edge is a straight line segment;

"FIG. 4: Illustration of directional bias using a top view of a sensor array according to one embodiment with sensors having rectangular shape and 1:3 aspect ratio;

"FIG. 5: Top view of neighboring sensors of a given sensor in embodiments using hexagonal and triangular sensor shapes;

"FIG. 6: Side view of spacers according to one embodiment of the present disclosure;

"FIG. 7: Top view of spacers surrounding the perimeter of a sensor component according to one embodiment of the present disclosure;

"FIG. 8: Illustration of an 'edge effect' using a side view of a pressure sensor in an array having a flexible planar substrate according to one embodiment of the present disclosure;

"FIG. 9: Plots of the fraction of sensor surface area that is within a given distance from sensor edges presented for three sensor shapes;

"FIG. 10: Top view of sensor components according to one embodiment of the present disclosure;

"FIG. 11: Top view of planar substrate P.sub.1 in accordance with one embodiment of the present disclosure that allows an 8.times.7 biplanar sensor array having different arrangements of signal lines and connecting lines on two planar substrates;

"FIG. 12: Top view of planar substrate P.sub.2 in accordance with the embodiment depicted in FIG. 11;

"FIG. 13: Timing diagram for read line and select line voltages in accordance with the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 11 and 12;

"FIG. 14: Top view of planar substrate P.sub.1 in accordance with one embodiment of the present disclosure that allows an 8.times.7 biplanar sensor array having identical arrangements of signal lines and connecting lines on two planar substrates;

"FIG. 15: Top view of planar substrate P.sub.2 in accordance with the embodiment depicted in FIG. 14;

"FIG. 16: Timing diagram for read line and select line voltages in accordance with the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 14 and 15;

"FIG. 17: Summary of notation used to describe the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 14 and 15; and

"FIG. 18: Block diagram illustrating a pressure-sensing device according to one embodiment of the present disclosure."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Anderson, Mark. Pressure-Sensing Device with Biplanar Sensor Array. Filed October 12, 2012 and posted April 24, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1748&p=35&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140417.PD.&OS=PD/20140417&RS=PD/20140417

Keywords for this news article include: Medicustek Inc.

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