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United States Patent 6,361,508
Johnson ,   et al. March 26, 2002

Personal event monitor with linear omnidirectional response

Abstract

A monitor device for monitoring the activity of an individual to provide an alarm for anomalous by the individual. The device includes a triaxial accelerometer adapted to measure simultaneously measure acceleration in three orthogonal, linear axes and generate a voltage output identifying the amplitude and frequency of detected motion by the individual in each axis. Also included is interface electronics for receiving the voltage outputs and buffering the voltage outputs to generate a first reference voltage for each axis of the accelerometer. Amplifier electronics amplifies each voltage output and compares each voltage output to the first reference voltage to produce a digital signal. A microcontroller receives the digital signal to compare it to an adjustable second reference voltage. The microcontroller is programmed to discriminate between normal activity and anomalous activity by identifying sensor activity within sequences of preselected time intervals and sending an alarm signal upon detection of the anomalous activity. An alarm for receiving the alarm signal and signaling an alarm completes the device.


Inventors: Johnson; Mark A. (Rensselaer, NY), Cote; Paul J. (Clifton Park, NY)
Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army (Washington, DC)
Family ID: 24208411
Appl. No.: 09/553,177
Filed: April 20, 2000

Current U.S. Class: 600/595
Current CPC Class: A61B 5/1123 (20130101); A61B 5/11 (20130101)
Current International Class: A61B 5/11 (20060101); A61B 005/103 (); A61B 005/117 ()
Field of Search: ;600/595,500,504,547,552,510,553,587 ;128/782 ;340/573 ;702/150


References Cited [Referenced By]

U.S. Patent Documents
5146206 September 1992 Callaway
5197489 March 1993 Conlan
5879309 March 1999 Johnson et al.
5913826 June 1999 Blank
5966680 October 1999 Butnaru
Primary Examiner: Shaver; Kevin
Assistant Examiner: Szmal; Brian
Attorney, Agent or Firm: Moran; John F. Sachs; Michael C.

Claims



What is claimed is:

1. A device for monitoring the activity of an individual to provide an alarm for detecting anomalous activity by the individual, comprising: a sensor adapted to simultaneously and continuously measure acceleration in three orthogonal axes and to generate a voltage output that is linearly proportional to the amplitude of detected acceleraton by the individual in each axis; interface electronics to generate a first reference bias voltage V.sub.ref1 for each axis of said sensor; amplifier circuit for defining a user adjustable second reference voltage V.sub.ref2 ; amplifier circuit for amplifying each voltage output, and for continuously comparing each voltage output to said second reference voltage to produce a digital signal defining a single event; a microcontroller for receiving said digital signal, said microcontroller being programmed to discriminate between normal activity and anomalous activity by identifying a continuous series of events within sequences of preselected time intervals and sending an alarm signal upon detection of said anomalous activity; an alarm for receiving said alarm signal and signaling an alarm; and the microcontroller conserving power when no events are detected.

2. The device of claim 1, wherein said sensor is a triaxial accelerometer producing said voltage output.

3. The device of claim 1, which further includes JFET buffering circuits for said voltage output.

4. The device of claim 3, which further includes a buffered voltage divider circuit to generate said first reference voltage V.sub.ref1.

5. The device of claim 1, wherein said amplifier electronics include high pass filters to minimize DC offset.

6. The device of claim 1, which further includes a hex rotary switch for setting the sensitivity of the device.

7. The device of claim 1, which is operable in a daytime mode by including a 3-Volt coin cell lithium battery for its power source and said alarm provides an audible signal.

8. The device of claim 7, wherein said microprocessor operates on the microcode listed in Table II of this specification.

9. The device of claim 1, which is operable in a nighttime mode by including a 12 volt battery for its power source and said alarm provides a radio frequency signal to a remote compatible receiver when alarm criteria are satisfied.
Description



The invention described herein may be manufactured, used, and licensed by or for the U.S. Government for government purposes.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a monitor for alerting those responsible for the care of individuals to the onset of anomalous physical activity. More particularly the invention relates to a monitor responsive to anomalous activity while distinguishing the same from casual activity associated with normal quiet daytime activities.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The problem of alerting caregivers to the onset of distress or to a medical disorder such as a seizure has always existed. The specific problem is to alert those responsible for the care of individuals to the onset of anomalous physical activity and to distinguish this type of activity from normal casual motion. The anomalous physical activity ranges from that associated from distress while sleeping to that associated with certain medical disorders such as epilepsy. The individual may suffer from a condition where prompt detection and enhanced accuracy in documentation of medical episodes is required to assist in improving care. The device would have great benefit for parents, teachers and other caregivers who cannot continuously and visually monitor the individual in their care. It would be a great benefit of having a monitor useful in the home or in group environments such as a classroom of students with special needs.

Caregivers of individuals afflicted with certain illnesses or conditions such as epilepsy are required to closely and continuously monitor those under their care. This is also the case for parents concerned with restless activity in their children during sleeping hours. U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,523,742, 5,610,590, and 5,879,309 describe monitors developed to address these problems.

Continuous visual monitoring of individuals is usually impossible and periodic monitoring is often insufficient. The monitors described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,523,742 and 5,610,590 provide relief during sleeping hours, but are inappropriate for reliably discriminating seizures from the casual activity associated with normal quiet daytime activities. The use of either of these monitors would produce an unacceptably high false alarm rate resulting in undue anxiety and, perhaps, even a loss of faith in the device. The monitor described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,879,309 employs a custom made sensor that is not 5 commercially available and is costly to produce. The sensor used in U.S. Pat. No. 5,879,309 also has a highly nonlinear response that does not allow optimal adjustments of monitor sensitivity. It also lacks the sensitivity to respond to low amplitude motion that is characteristic of certain types of disorders.

Accordingly, one object of the present invention is to provide a sensor that is sensitive to respond to low amplitude motion.

Another object of this invention is to provide a monitor device that minimizes false alarms due to reading, walking or related casual activities.

A specific object of this invention is to provide a monitor device that uses a new, commercially available sensor having a linear, omnidirectional response with high sensitivity, ultra-low power consumption, low cost, and small size.

Other objects will appear hereinafter.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It has now been discovered that the above and other objects of the present invention may be accomplished in the following manner.

Specifically, the present invention comprises a monitor device for monitoring the activity of an individual to provide an alarm for anomalous by the individual. The device incorporates a new, commercially available sensor having desired features of linear, omnidirectional response, high sensitivity, ultra-low power consumption, low cost and small size.

Also included in the monitor device of the present invention is interface electronics for receiving the voltage outputs and buffering the voltage outputs to generate a first reference voltage for each axis of the accelerometer. Each voltage output is amplified and compared to a first reference voltage to produce a digital signal.

A microcontroller compares the digital signal to an adjustable second reference voltage. The microcontroller discriminates between normal activity and anomalous activity by identifying sensor activity within sequences of preselected time intervals and sending an alarm signal upon detection of the anomalous activity. An alarm for receiving the alarm signal and signaling an alarm completes the device.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a more complete understanding of the invention, reference is hereby made to the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a circuit diagram illustrating the monitor electronics connected to the sensor; and

FIG. 2 is a circuit diagram of the electronics in conjunction with the microprocessor and alarm.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The present invention has many advantages. It provides a means for alerting caregivers to anomalous physical activity while minimizing false alarms due to reading, walking, or related casual activities. The monitor described in detail below is small, lightweight, portable, simple to use, and inexpensive to produce.

Two separate monitors have been developed under the present invention. One is for daytime use and one for use during the night. The monitors are conceptually identical, differing only in the type of alarm and power supply used. Shown in FIG. 1 is the electronics used in the daytime monitor. The monitor device employs a small, inexpensive, low-power, triaxial accelerometer, 1, which is also designated U3 in FIG. 1. Accelerometer 1 is used to detect anomalous physical activity in an individual, where the anomalous activity may, for example, be associated with a seizure episode. Accelerometer 1 simultaneously measures acceleration in three orthogonal axes, labeled x, y and z. Upon activation by physical motion, the accelerometer 1 generates a voltage output V that provides a measure of the amplitude and frequency of the motion. A preferred accelerometer for use in the present invention is known as Accelerometer ACH-04-08-05, manufactured by Measurement Specialties Incorporated, located in Norristown, Penn. The ACH-04-08-05 operates over a temperature range of from -40.degree. C. to 85.degree. C., much larger than the normal environment for humans, and nominal sensitivity will typically changes less than 2 dB over that range of temperature.

The accelerometer outputs are buffered by internal JFET's which require external biasing. The interface electronics, shown in dashed oval 2, are identical for all three axes, so only the y-axis electronics will be described. The JFETs are biased using a source-resistor bias in a source-follower configuration. V.sub.ref1 is generated using a buffered voltage divider, shown in FIG. 1 as 3 generally, and is set to 1.64 VDC using a 3 VDC supply. A 0.6 DC voltage drop across the JFET gate results in approximately 2.24 volts at the JFET's source. The 2.24 volts across R1 to ground biases the JFET using 2.24 .mu.A of current. Therefore, 7.72 .mu.A are required to bias all three axes of accelerometer 1. C1 blocks the DC bias offset and the R2 forms a high pass filter with a pole at 0.16 Hz. R3 and R4 define the system gain of 294. R4 and C3 form another high pass filter with a pole at 2.12 Hz and minimize DC offset at the output by setting the DC gain at 1.

The amplified signal is then compared with a reference voltage V.sub.ref2 that is set by a user adjustable buffered divider shown in FIG. 1 generally as 4. R30 and R31 provide 30 mv of hysteresis. The output of the comparator circuit is a digital signal that is analyzed by the microprocessor, shown generally as 5 and also as U4 in FIG. 2. The microcontroller discriminates normal casual activity from anomalous activity by identifying sensor activity or lack of activity within sequences of preselected time intervals. The hex rotary switch 6 in FIG. 2 sets the time interval and total sampling time used by microprocessor 5. Switch settings are given below in Table I.

TABLE I SWITCH SETTINGS frequency time alarm value (hz) (sec.) (seconds) 0 f > 1.0 5 60 1 f > 1.0 10 60 2 f > 1.3 5 60 3 f > 1.3 10 60 4 f > 2.0 5 60 5 f > 2.0 10 60 6 f > 4.0 5 60 7 f > 4.0 10 60 8 f > 1.0 5 continuous 9 f > 1.0 10 continuous A f > 1.3 5 continuous B f > 1.3 10 continuous C f > 2.0 5 continuous D f > 2.0 10 continuous E f > 4.0 5 continuous F f > 1.0 10 continuous

The values of V.sub.ref2 sets the sensitivity of the monitor device of this invention. This combination of user selectable parameters permit an unlimited range of settings to accommodate a wide variety of conditions. If the microprocessor 5 detects anomalous activity or if the battery monitor, shown as 7 in FIG. 2, signals a low-battery condition, an alarm is activated. The listing of the microcode for microprocessor 5 of the monitor device are given below in Table II. This code is the microcode listing for the microprocessor used in the daytime implementation, using Microchip PIIC16LC585.

TABLE II CODE LISTING ; bcf STATUS,5=> selects Special Function Registers in Bank 0 (PORTA, PORTB) ; bsf STATUS,5 => selects Special Function Registers in Bank 1 (TRISA, TRISB, OPTION) ; general purpose registers are in 20h->7Fh in Bank O & AOh-> in Bank 1 ; minimize power: 1 ) all unused 1/O ports set to outputs 2.) tie MCLR (bar) to Vdd 3.) don't use portb pull-ups 4.) TMRO to Vdd or Vss 5.) don't use power-up timer (requires RC timer) ; individual flag bits are set regardless of the status of their corresponding mask bit ; or the GIE bit ; RADIX DEC PROCESSOR PIC16C558 #include<P16c558.inc> EVENT1 equ 20h EVENT2 equ 21h TEMP equ 22h WIN equ 23h CFG equ 24h CFG_IN equ 25h BEEP1 equ 26h BEEP2 equ 27h BEEP_ON equ 28h BEEP_OFF equ 29h COUNT equ 2ah COUNTX equ 2bh DBG equ 2ch MASK equ b`00011111` ; Board design should be much simpler using RBO-RB3 for inputs and RB4-RB7 for interrupts. ; Could use INTO for the battery monitor, but cannot invision any problems if I don't. ; If a window is missed, the routine will check the status of the battery anyway. ; If it is the battery monitor that wakes up the processor, and there is no other motion; (axis-interrupts) then the battery status will be checked anyway upon return to start. ;If the battery monitor inturrupts during the window tests and port interrupt changes are ; disabled it will be tested upon return to start or an alarm will sound anyway if no ; windows are missed. ; ; RA0 = output buzzer ; RA1 = output buzzer ; RA2 = output buzzer ; RA3 = output buzzer ; RA4 = output buzzer ; ; RBO = input window parameter ; RB1 = input window parameter ; RB2 = input window parameter ; RB3 = input window parameter ; RB4 = input battery monitor ; RB5 = input x-axis (hight = 0.36 Vdd) ; RB6 = input y-axis ; RB7 = input z-axis ; Vss = ground = Vpp; Vdd - 3.0 Vdc ; ; RB3, RB2, BR1, BR0 = config input: ; 3210 m(ms) time(s) (# windows) timer enable ;0 0000 1000 5 5 1 ;1 0001 1000 10 10 1 ;2 0010 750 5 7 1 ;3 0011 750 10 13 1 ;4 0100 500 5 10 1 ;5 0101 500 10 20 1 ;6 0110 250 5 20 1 ;7 0111 250 10 40 1 ;8 1000 1000 5 5 0 ;9 1001 1000 10 10 0 ;A 1010 750 5 7 0 ;B 1011 750 10 13 0 ;C 1100 500 5 10 0 ;D 1101 500 10 20 0 ;E 1110 250 5 20 0 ;F 1111 250 10 40 0 origin org h`0000; start program here go to start go to start ;location 0001 go to start ;location 0002 go to start ;location 0003 ; interrupt service routine (0004) btfsc INTCON,2 ;timer overflow? goto int_a ; If not timer, then battery or one of sensor axis ; Mask RB interrupts. Yes, CIE is now cleared and disables all further interrupts, but ; don't permit interrupts when exciting the interrupt service routine either. Don't ; want battery alarm to be affected by interrupts. More importantly, only permit one ; axis interrupt at a time in a window. Otherwise _nms will be extended as it keeps ; getting interrupted! bcf INTCON,3 ;Mask further RB port change interrupts bcf INTCON,0 bsf EVENT1,0 ;axis change (although a possible low battery interrupt) retfie ;will finish, even if GIE = 1 since RB interrupts masked int_a bcf INTCON,2 ;clear TMRO interrupt bsf EVENT2,0 ;TMRO event retfie ;GIE set; enable all unmasked interrupts start call init ;initialize registers & read window definitions ; wait 2 seconds for buzzer to stabilize, should also be enough time for MAX809 ; to assert. (typically 140 ms). If MAX 809 is not ready-> low battery. MAX809 ; keeps asserting reset (low) if battery voltage remains low call _2s call --2s ; wait for circuit to stabilize call MAX809 ; check battery voltage call beep--2 ; to indicate everything is O.K. starta call init : call init and MAX809 twice on startup - who cares? call MAX809 ; bftss PORTA,4 ; no debug mode, PCB layout was too complex! ; call debug movfw PORTB ; clear PORTB mismatch & enable interrupt movlw b'1000100' ;execute code inline on PRFB interrupt movwf INTCON sleep ; sleep until sensor change movfw COUNT movwf COUNTx acquire decfsz COUNTx ; will go here upon wake-up goto loop goto alarm loop clrf EVENT1 ; EVENT1 set if any axis input exceeds threshold call _WINms ; wait window width for EVENT! to set btfsc EVENT1,0 ; port change during delay? goto acquire ; port change occurred during delay goto starta alarm clrf INTCON ; forces manual reset alarm mode btfsc PORTB,2 : bit 2 = 1 disables auto-shut down mode goto alarm1 movlw 30 : approximately 30 second alarm movwf COUNTx ; COUNTx is temporary anyway alarma call beep_1 decfsz COUNTx goto alarma goto starta ; start over again alarm1 call beep_1 ; seizure, no limit on alarm goto alarm1 init clfr INTCON ; don't allow interrupts at first clrf STATUS ; clear upper three bits (see book) bsf STATUS,5 ; set RPO to use bank 1 for TRISA, TRISB, and OPTION movlw b'00000000' ; POPTA1/0; Output= 0 Input=1 movwf TRISA movlw b'11111111' ; PORTB1/0; Output= 0 Input=1 movwf TRISB clrwdt ; book says do it! bsf STATUS,0 : assign prescalar 256 to TMRO and ensure portB pull-ups are disabled movlw b'11000111' movfw OPTION_REG bcf STATUS,0 ; book says do it! bcf STATUS,5 ; clear RPO to back to bank 0 clrf PORTA ; all outputs low call config ; window definition clrf EVENT1 clrf EVENT2 return MAX809 btfsc PORTB,4 ; MAX809 = => low battery return MAX809a call beep_2 goto MAX809a ; MAX809 not set return _2s movwf TEMP ; 2-second delay ; Don't allow port interrupts in this routine clrf INTCON clrf EVENT2 movlw 192 movwf TMRO movlw b'10100000' movwf INTCON _2sa btfss EVENT2,0 goto _2sa CLRF INTCON movfw TEMP return _500ms movwf TEMP ; 500 ms delay ; Don't allow port interrupts in this routine clrf INTCON movlw 240 clrf EVENT2 movwf TMRO movlW b'10100000' movwf INTCON _500msa btfss EVENT2,0 goto _500msa CLRF INTCON movfw TEMP return _30ms movwf TEMP ; 30 ms delay Don't allow port interrupts in this routine clrf INTCON clrf EVENT2 movlw 255 movwf TMRO movlw b'10100000' movwf INTCON _30msa btfss EVENT2,0 goto _30msa clrf INTCON movfw TEMP return -WINms movwf TEMP ; WINDOW delay Must allow port interrupts in this routine clrf INTCON clrf EVENT2 movlw 255 movlw WIN movwf TMRO ; allow 1 event on axis; RB port disabled in interrupt service routine ; GIE bit reset in interrupt service routine movfw PORTB ; needed to clear mismatch condition! - 558 requires this movlw b'10101000' movwf INTCON _WINmsa btfss EVENT2,0 goto _WINmsa clrf INTCON ; no interrupts allowed upon exit movfw TEMP return beep_2 movwf BEEP2 call beep_off call _500ms call beep_40 call beep_off call _30ms call _30ms call _30ms call _30ms call beep_40 call beep_off call _500ms

movfw BEEP2 return beep_off movwf BEEP_OFF CLRW PORTA MOVFW BEEP_OFF return debug movfvv COUNT ; remains in debug mode until powered off/on movfw COUNTX bcf PORTA,2 call _500MS ; first zero volts for 400ms bsf PORTA,2 call _30ms ; show 3lms pulse bsf PORTA,2 call _500ms ; wait another 400ms bsf PORTA,2 call _WINms ; show window width bsf PORTA,2 call _500ms `wait another 400ms bsf PORTA,2 debug_a decfsz COUNTX ; show entire time (window*count) goto debug_b goto debug_c debug_b call _WINms goto debug_a debug_c bcf PORTA,2 call _500ms debug_ movfw PORTA ; just keep showing sensor input movwf DBG ; I don know why you can't just rrf DBG,w ; rrf the w register, but you can't andlw b'01000000' movwf PORTA goto debug_d config movwf CFG movfw PORTB ; latch switch settings clrf CFG_IN ; swap bits 2&3 and 0&1 because of circuit btfsc PORTB,3 bsf CFG_IN,2 btfsc PORTB,2 bsf CFG_IN,3 btfsc PORTB,1 bsf CFG_IN,0 btfsc PORTB,0 bsf CFG_IN, 1 movfw CFG_IN andlw b'00001111' addwf PCL ; offset PCL by the amount in w goto zzero ; the defaults goto one goto two goto three goto four goto five goto six goto seven goto zzero goto one goto two goto three goto four goto five goto six ; All counts incremented by 1 because of decfz test in main loop seven movlw 41 movwf COUNT movlw 248 movwf WIN return six movlw 21 movwf COUNT movlw 248 movwf WIN return five movlw 21 movwf COUNT movlw 240 movwf WIN return four movlw 11 movwf COUNT movlw 240 movwf WIN return three movlw 14 movwf COUNT movlw 232 movwf WIN return two movlw 8 movwf COUNT movlw 232 movwf WIN return one movlw 11 movwf COUNT movlw 224 movwf WIN return zzero movlw 6 ; 5 - 1 second windows movwf COUNT movlw 224 movwf WIN return beep_40 movwf BEEP_ON clrw xorlw MASK movwf PORTA ; repeat previous 2 instructions to obtain 40ms at 32.768 kHz movfw BEEP_ON return goto start ; repeat previous instruction to fill remaining memory space END

The alarm for the daytime monitor is an acoustic transducer 8 in FIG. 2. The audible signal for anomalous physical activity is distinct from that for a low battery condition. If unusual activity is detected, switch 6 setting, shown in FIG. 2, determines whether the alarm is active until the monitor is manually reset, or if it automatically resets after a preselected period of time. Power for the daytime monitor is derived from a standard coin cell battery, shown in FIG. 2 as 3VDC. Battery life is difficult to estimate since the oscillator circuitry of the processor is disabled to conserve power until activity is detected. Battery life is also a function of the number of alarms. A battery life of approximately 2700 hours is expected using a Panasonic.RTM. 2032 coin cell lithium battery.

The nighttime monitor transmits a FCC compliant radio frequency signal to a remote, compatible receiver when the alarm criteria are satisfied. The receiver then activates the desired alarm mechanism, such as a radio, lamp or buzzer. The signal is retransmitted periodically until the monitor is manually reset. In addition to the remote alarm, a LED on the monitor continuously flashes at a rate that indicates if the alarm is the result of a potential seizure or low battery.

Power for the nighttime monitor is derived from a standard miniature 12 volt battery. A Maxim MAX874 low-dropout precision voltage reference is utilized to supply 4 volts to the monitor circuitry.

The daytime monitor is small and easily attached to an individual. The power switch is preferably recessed on the side of the monitor and is the only means of resetting the monitor. There are internal adjustments that are available to permit optimization of the monitor response for each application. In an effort to conserve battery life, no indicator is used in the daytime mode to notify the user that the device is operational. Instead, the monitor beeps twice in the daytime mode or the LED flashes twice for the nighttime mode, when it is first turned on. This notifies the user that the battery voltage is adequate and the unit is operating properly. If this signal does not occur, the battery needs to be replaced. Obviously, if the signal does not occur when a fresh battery is installed, the unit is malfunctioning and should not be used.

While particular embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described herein, it is not intended that these illustrations and descriptions limit the invention. Changes and modifications may be made herein without departing from the scope and spirit of the following claims.

* * * * *

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