Mobile ultra-low power radar system for medical applications


Rural areas suffer from a lack of medical care, especially when it comes to high-quality diagnostics. The situation is to be improved by adapting sensor concepts from the context of Industry 4.0 to medical diagnostics. A special method of high-resolution, contactless distance measurement is used for this purpose. The basis for this is formed by radar systems, which have been used to date for the process control of fully automated industrial production facilities.


With the classic ECG, the heartbeat is determined with the help of electrodes and cables that connect patients to the measuring devices. With radar technology, monitoring is done without contact and from a distance. Radar sensors can thus record cardiovascular parameters without contact in the home of people in need of medical care and provide a secure data interface to the attending physician or telemedical service providers.

Through clothing, bedspreads and even mattresses, the radar sensor developed can detect heart and respiratory values and transmit them to the monitoring devices. The sensors emit electromagnetic waves that are reflected by the body. In practice, it works something like this: The blood expelled by the heart travels along the vessels in the form of a pulse wave, which appears as a vibration on the surface of the body. These can be measured with the help of the sensors and many medical aspects of the cardiovascular system can be determined from them.


For the time being, the research project focuses on the medical observation of premature and newborn infants, especially epileptic seizures. It is believed that undiagnosed epilepsy is responsible for up to 20 percent of all sudden infant deaths. The problem is that these seizures often go undiagnosed in infants because they do not yet show motor spasms. By measuring without contact with the radar sensors, the children are monitored continuously and without restrictions. A seizure can thus be noticed and treated early enough.

The use of the technology also makes sense in the current corona pandemic. In combination with the measured cardiovascular and respiratory activity, the body temperature can be determined without contact and thus important parameters for assessing the state of health in connection with a possible corona infection can be tested. In this way, infected persons could be examined without contact. This also reduces the risk of infection for medical staff.


Recording of cardiovascular and respiratory functions

Early diagnostic data collection possible

Possible information on the autonomic nervous system (impending epilepsy)

Bio radar – contactless (in contrast to ECG)

  • Permanent monitoring possible (hospital beds)
  • Monitoring of infants possible
  • Monitoring of burn victims possible

Hardware distance resolution < 1μm


Medical Diagnostics / Life Science


Patient studies


Dr.-Ing. Steffen Ortmann

Thiem-Research GmbH
Thiemstr. 111
03048 Cottbus

T:  +49 (0)355 46-38 60