Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies (PADT) Case Study
THE ADVANCED TELESENSORS STORY
Advanced TeleSensors is a medical technology company dedicated to improving and saving lives through an innovative “wearable-less” radio frequency (RF) vital signs monitor. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, the company was founded in 2009 by a group of scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). It started as a government-sponsored program between JPL and the California Institute of Technology (CalTech), who were tasked with developing and commercializing a groundbreaking contactless life recognition and data collection technology. Advanced TeleSensors founders secured exclusive worldwide rights to the technology and began further development on the product privately.
Today, the product which spun out of the JPL and CalTech program is known as Cardi/o®.
CARDI/O - THE WORLD’S FIRST “WEARABLE-LESS” RF VITAL SIGN MONITOR
Advanced TeleSensors’ Cardi/o product line serves adults, babies and even animals by enabling real-time sensing of patient vitals anytime, anywhere. Advanced TeleSensors has elevated the signal processing for motion, enabling the reading of heart rate, heart rate variability, respiration rate, and motion during natural movements, automatically detecting through walls, clothing, blankets and darkness. Since spinning off from the JPL and CalTech Program, Cardi/o has developed three wearable-less RF vital sign monitors – Cardi/o Vital Monitor, Cardi/o Baby Monitor and Cardi/o Equine Vitals Monitor. Cardi/o delivers vital information to your phone through the Cardi/o app. The touchless cardiac signal captures data effortlessly – free from all wearables and wires. The ability to track this information is critical to elderly care, baby care, equine veterinary and even to help keep users in a car awake and safe. This product is something the science and technology community has been trying to accomplish for more than 40 years. The company was able to accomplish the feat through a combination of experts in RF and high-powered simulation tools from Ansys provided by PADT.
DISCOVERING THE POWER OF ANSYS
Cardi/o works on a 24 GHz frequency, which is much higher than what most applications run at today. The key to radio frequency detection systems is the ability to extract the slightest tiny signals in a sea of noise with various impediments. The product uses algorithmic detection to find heart rate, respiratory rate, and stress, and due to its complexities, optimizing this process needed to be done through a simulation tool.
During Advanced TeleSensors’s initial design and development phase, they tried out a number of simulation tools which proved to be slow and inefficient. Another major roadblock was computing power - Advanced TeleSensors did not have access to high-powered computing and became bottlenecked with locally hosted platforms. Members of the company had used Ansys simulation in college and decided to explore this option.
Having previously met PADT, Advanced TeleSensors was familiar with PADT’s expertise in simulation, and reached out to them. PADT became a valued partner to Advanced TeleSensors. PADT recommended the Nimbix Cloud service, which provides high-performance computing and supercomputing in the cloud. This allowed Advanced TeleSensors to obtain the required random access memory (RAM) needed to run its unique simulations, without the cost of purchasing expensive computers and components. PADT was also able to offer the company the Ansys Startup Package, providing full access to simulation software bundles built and priced to help entrepreneurs grow their business quickly and cost-effectively. In addition to finding the most cost-effective solution without sacrificing performance, PADT also was also a great support resource to Advanced TeleSensors, helping with general troubleshooting.
“The combination of the Ansys and high-performance cloud computing with Nimbix has allowed us to solve critical design challenges with Cardi/o in the most cost-effective way. These tools are helping to significantly improve product quality, workflow efficiency and time to market.” - Sasank Mallampati, radio frequency design engineer, Advanced TeleSensors
OPTIMIZING EFFICIENCY AND SPEED TO ACCELERATE DEVELOPMENT AND TIME TO MARKET
With the power of Ansys, Advanced TeleSensors could simulate the effects of various signal disruptors such as electric and magnetic fields. This process was done using ANSYS’s 3D Element Analysis tool, which allowed the company’s engineers to evaluate signal quality, transmission path loss, impedance mismatch, parasitic coupling and far-field radiation. These are all critical factors to ensure a strong wireless connection between the user/patient and the Cardi/o device.
Certain aspects of the design and development process were also optimized to cut down on development time. Calculations which were once done by hand and could take more than two days to accomplish were cut down to just six hours. The Advanced TeleSensors team could leave a simulation running overnight and come back to it completed the next morning. The use of Ansys has significantly improved Advanced TeleSensors’s efficiency and its ability to bring the innovative Cardi/o products to market quickly.