Mini Mitter Company of Bend, Oregon, announces the release of
VitalSense, an innovative and exciting new way to telemetrically
monitor physiological parameters without wires or probes. This
breakthrough technology was designed in partnership with the
United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine.
Phase I of this Integrated Physiological Monitoring System includes core body and skin temperature sensors. Phase 2, a heart
rate sensor, is scheduled for release in late 2004. Sensors to monitor other physiological parameters are under development.
How the System Works
Core body temperatures are obtained from ingestible and, of
course, disposable, Jonah ™ core temperature sensors, which are contained in a capsule about the size of a multi-vitamin. (An image
of the capsule is shown below). It is named Jonah. It weighs only 1.6 grams and measures 8.7 mm dia. x 23mm long and is made of medical grade plastic.
Once activated and swallowed, transmission begins immediately. Data are transmitted telemetrically to the VitalSense
Monitor, which can be worn in a waist pack or slipped into a pocket.
The mean transit time for the capsules is 2.0 ±1.5 days.
Dermal temperatures are transmitted from waterproof, hypoallergenic
patches. Transmission range is approximately 1 meter for the ingestible sensor and 2 meters for the patches. The patented
redundant transmission scheme for the sensors significantly decreases
the number of lost data points. Accuracy is ±0.1 °C with 0.01 ºC resolution.
In the normal mode, each VitalSense monitor can track and record data from up to 10 sensors that have been associated with the
monitor, while rejecting signals from other sensors that may be within
range. When it is in Medic Mode™ the monitor will detect and record
signals from any VitalSense sensor that is within reception range.
VitalSense was designed at the request of, and in partnership with, the United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine to
support the US Army’s Warfighter Physiological Status Monitoring
Program, which emphasizes “wear and forget” technology. As a part of this program, VitalSense was initially used to monitor United States
Army Rangers. On the battlefield or in the air, under extreme hot or cold temperatures, VitalSense delivers real time critical temperature data to improve the health and safety of our troops.
VitalSense proved to be a real lifesaver in a recent study of wildlandfirefighters in Montana. The study was designed to evaluate heat
stress in high intensity work environments. Canadian coaches used VitalSense to evaluate the physiological status
of Canadian triathletes training for all three legs (swimming, biking and running) of their event in the 2004 summer Olympics.
In another athletic related study, Nike ® is using VitalSense to test heat dissipation in clothing.
Since receiving 510K clearance from the FDA on April 22, 2004 VitalSense has been incorporated into a number of on-going clinical
studies. Those in early stages of design and testing include menopausal hot flash monitoring, ovulation detection, and sepsis
detection in hospitals.
Healthcare implications for the latter are far
reaching as there are approximately 700,000 cases of sepsis each year, 25% of which result in mortalities. Hospitals monitor core body
temperature, heart rate and other vital signs to detect the onset of
sepsis. Early detection of sepsis increases the likelihood of successful
treatment, and VitalSense will enable the medical staff to pick up
critical changes in those parameters earlier than they would with
normal, manual monitoring.
In addition, Mini Mitter is exploring telemedicine options for the VitalSense system.
For additional information, call Denny Ebner, C.E.O. or Dr. Jack McKenzie , Vice President for Market Development at 800-685-2999 .