Human vital signs detection methods and potential using radars: A review

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111 Scopus citations


Continuous monitoring of vital signs, such as respiration and heartbeat, plays a crucial role in early detection and even prediction of conditions that may affect the wellbeing of the patient. Sensing vital signs can be categorized into: contact-based techniques and contactless based techniques. Conventional clinical methods of detecting these vital signs require the use of contact sensors, which may not be practical for long duration monitoring and less convenient for repeatable measurements. On the other hand, wireless vital signs detection using radars has the distinct advantage of not requiring the attachment of electrodes to the subject’s body and hence not constraining the movement of the person and eliminating the possibility of skin irritation. In addition, it removes the need for wires and limitation of access to patients, especially for children and the elderly. This paper presents a thorough review on the traditional methods of monitoring cardio-pulmonary rates as well as the potential of replacing these systems with radar-based techniques. The paper also highlights the challenges that radar-based vital signs monitoring methods need to overcome to gain acceptance in the healthcare field. A proof-of-concept of a radar-based vital sign detection system is presented together with promising measurement results.

Original languageBritish English
Article number1454
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • Heart rate
  • Radars
  • Respiration rate
  • Sensors
  • Vital signs


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