Patent number 8798761 is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Acoustic transducers are utilized in a variety of medical applications for transmitting and receiving acoustic signals through the body. In cardiac rhythm management applications, for example, acoustic transducers can be used for telemetrically communicating with and powering implantable medical devices, and for providing therapy to a patient. An example telemetry system employing acoustic transducers is described, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 7,024,248 to Penner et al., entitled 'Systems and Methods For Communicating With Implantable Devices,' which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety for all purposes. Acoustic transducers are frequently utilized in other medical fields such as medical imaging (e.g., ultrasonography) to permit non-invasive visualization of internal body structures or organs within the body.
"In some cases, piezoelectric transducers are used to generate acoustic waves that can be transcutaneously transmitted into or received from the body. Such devices are typically placed in intimate contact with the patient's skin, and utilize the mechanical and electrical properties of piezoelectric materials to enable electrical to acoustic transduction. To facilitate the transmission and receipt of acoustic waves through the skin, an acoustic coupling medium (e.g., an acoustic gel) is sometimes used to reduce or eliminate the presence of air at the interface between the skin and the transducer, which due to its low acoustical impedance, can cause reflection and attenuation losses of the acoustic energy at the interface.
"As a result of this property of acoustic interfaces, individuals wearing acoustic devices must often confirm the proper placement of the acoustic transducer on the skin, and in some cases must ensure that an adequate coupling medium is present on the surface of the skin to provide adequate impedance coupling at the transducer/skin interface. For untrained individuals unfamiliar with such devices, or in those cases where the device is to be placed on the skin for extended periods of time, the monitoring of the acoustic coupling may be difficult or even prohibitive. In certain settings such as in an ambulatory setting, for example, the acoustic transducer may become dislodged from the skin, requiring the individual or caregiver to reapply the transducer to reestablish the acoustic transmission."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, NewsRx journalists also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "The present invention pertains to systems and methods for monitoring the acoustical coupling of medical devices. An illustrative system for monitoring the coupling of an acoustic transducer attached to a patient's body includes an acoustic transducer in communication with an implantable medical device, a signal generator adapted to supply an electrical signal to the acoustic transducer, a circuit configured to measure at least one electrical parameter of the acoustic transducer, and an evaluation module adapted to evaluate the degree of acoustic coupling of the transducer to the body based on the measured electrical parameter. In some embodiments, the evaluation module is configured to evaluate the degree of acoustic coupling by sensing a frequency parameter associated with the acoustic transducer. In other embodiments, the evaluation module is configured to evaluate the degree of acoustic coupling based on a time domain parameter associated with the acoustic transducer. In further embodiments, both a frequency parameter and a time domain parameter may be used to evaluate the degree of acoustic coupling.
"A method of monitoring the coupling of an acoustic transducer attached to patient's body can include providing an electrical signal to the acoustic transducer, measuring at least one electrical parameter associated with the response of the acoustic transducer to the electrical signal, and evaluating the degree of acoustic coupling of the acoustic transducer to the body based on the measured electrical parameter. In some embodiments, the electrical parameter sensed may comprise a voltage and/or current parameter associated with the acoustic transducer. In one embodiment, the electrical signal provided to the acoustic transducer is swept across a range of different frequencies, and the step of evaluating the degree of acoustic coupling of the transducer to the body includes measuring an impedance parameter at multiple frequencies. In other embodiments, evaluating the acoustic coupling includes measuring a time domain parameter associated with the response of the acoustic transducer to the electrical signal. In further embodiments, evaluating the acoustic coupling includes measuring the complex impedance of an equivalence electrical circuit modeling the acoustic transducer.
"While multiple embodiments are disclosed, still other embodiments of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, which shows and describes illustrative embodiments of the invention. Accordingly, the drawings and detailed description are to be regarded as illustrative in nature and not restrictive."
URL and more information on this patent, see: Doron, Eyal. Systems and Methods of Monitoring the Acoustic Coupling of Medical Devices. U.S. Patent Number 8798761, filed
Keywords for this news article include: Cardiology,
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