Toyota developing heart monitoring technology 0

Toyota-developing-heart-monitoring-technologyIt’s an ultimately tragic set of circumstances, but having a heart attack or other form of serious medical emergency whilst behind the wheel can lead to serious consequences not only for the sufferer, but also for anyone who happens to be nearby.

With this in mind, Toyota are in the process of developing a new, pioneering technology that will bring the moving vehicle to a safe stop, should the driver be unlucky enough to have a de-habilitating medical condition whilst on the move.

It’s widely expected that self-driving cars are set to feature heavily in the future, but at present the reality is that such vehicles are still some way off being part and parcel of daily life. In the meantime, Toyota believes this kind of technology will act as a suitable interim stopgap until the days when autonomous vehicles rule the road.

Toyota has been collaborating on this project with the Director of Data Science at the Michigan Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care, Kayvan Najarian.

Speaking about the project, Najarian said as healthcare facilities continue to get better, “there will be an increasing number of older-age drivers, which could increase the number of medical events happening behind the wheel.”

The team developing the technology said the basic idea involves an algorithm-powered system built into the car’s functionality that can monitor and predict an adverse cardiac event.

One of the key challenges is teaching the algorithm to recognise genuine cardiac events; regularly stopping the car mistakenly would grow old quickly. It would also lead to the driver worrying that they were about to have a heart attack when they might be perfectly fine.

Discussing the issue, Toyota’s Pujitha Genaratne said, “A challenge for vehicle applications is having a system that can detect small changes in heart rhythms but can also separate out the noise and motion that happens inside the vehicle.

“In an ICU, there are all types of mechanism in place to ensure that the monitors are not experiencing electronic interference. That’s not as easy inside a vehicle.”

The team are currently exploring hardware options for sensors and monitors inside the cabin. These could potentially be built into components such as seat belts and steering wheels. Physiological data will also be collected from heart monitoring equipment.

Considering the amount of miles that people travel in their vehicles, de-habilitating medical emergencies are thankfully quite rare. But such a system could prove effective in preventing further injuries should the driver lose control of the car. The technology could be further enhanced if it could send a distress call to the emergency services following an incident.

For affordable, convenient and top quality car servicing from industry professionals choose Servicing Stop – All offers include FREE car collection and delivery plus a 12-month parts and labour guarantee!