[Cyborg] Building a home polysomnograph to record heart rate, blood oxygen while you sleep.

Eric Boyd mrericboyd at yahoo.com
Wed Jun 1 18:18:59 PDT 2011


Hey, great idea, it'd be super awesome to have a USB-capable 
pulse-oximetry device.  I haven't heard of such a thing, at any price, 
though you're probably right that expensive ones exist.  I once hacked a 
cheap ($30) finger-clamp one in order to get out the heart-beat 
information, but basically all I did was wire into the LED display - it 
had a little display with 5 LEDs serving as a kind of bar-graph display 
for the signal from the heart, so all I did was wire into the 3rd and 
4th LED, and feed that into the digital pins on my microcontroller.  
Easy hack.  But I imagine it wouldn't be that much harder to find e.g. 
the control circuitry for the display and reverse it to get out the 
characters that are being shown (and thus the oxi-reading).  Feed that 
into a new Uno arduino and you could write the USB-interfacing stuff.  
I'd love to help but sadly I'm in Toronto now.  Hopefully someone will 
step forward to help you out!

Eric


On 6/1/11 8:31 PM, Kevin Burton wrote:
> Hey gang.
>
> Long story short.  I'm a data/fitness/compsci geek.
>
> I've been aggressively tracking all of my body telemetry as part of my 
> long term project to improve my health (and live at peak physical 
> condition).
>
> Here are a few links:
>
> http://feedblog.org/2011/04/19/on-polysomnographs-apnea-oximeters-ant-and-data-recorders/
> http://feedblog.org/2011/04/17/reflecting-on-my-recent-sleep-experiments/
> http://feedblog.org/2011/03/29/the-horrible-problem-of-synchronized-fitness-data/
> http://feedblog.org/2011/03/19/my-quantified-self/
>
> I'd like to now build a cheap home polysomnograph.
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polysomnography
>
> I did a bunch of research and a professional ONE NIGHT visit to a 
> sleep clinic to get a polysomnograph is $2500.
>
> So what I want to do is basically buy a cheap oximeter to measure 
> blood oxygen and heart rate.
>
> A recent paper was released showing that oximetry is the leading 
> indicator of apnea and that this $2500 polysomnograph is just a waste 
> of money (I can find the link if someone wants it but I have to track 
> it down).
>
> But these oximeters are cheap... $24.
>
> http://www.google.com/products/catalog?client=safari&rls=en&q=oximeter&oe=UTF-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=312759277086602921&sa=X&ei=I9nmTZ3zEoT0swPxpOSKCw&ved=0CJIBEPMCMAE#ps-sellers 
> <http://www.google.com/products/catalog?client=safari&rls=en&q=oximeter&oe=UTF-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=312759277086602921&sa=X&ei=I9nmTZ3zEoT0swPxpOSKCw&ved=0CJIBEPMCMAE#ps-sellers>
>
> The problem is that none of them have PC integration support.  There 
> is a chinese company that has one for USB but Windows only drivers and 
> it's $150.
>
> These are designed to be spot monitors.
>
> I think the reason is that the market for more professional ones is 
> like $500-1000 for "professional" home monitoring.
>
> What I'd like to do is buy one of these cheap ones and mod the 
> hardware to interface with USB and then publish the specs on how to 
> mod them.
>
> I'm not a hardware hacker though... nor do I have any real motivation 
> to work on hardware.  This is a one time project.
>
> Any pointers?  I can do the software and analytics component of this 
> and will volunteer myself as a guinea pig.  I just need a USB 
> interface for the oximeter data..
>
> Kevin
>
>
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