Low-cost Heart Rate Monitor for XO-1

Tom Boonsiri has been working with OLPC Goldenstate and OLPC Health for some time now.  Lately, he’s released a new revision of his low-cost heart rate monitor hardware.  Details from their blog:

Two revisions later we have something closer to “child tamper proof”. Our prototypes are on their way out to many eager children! Hooray!

If you are interested in receiving them for your pilot please send me an email to: tom.boonsiri@gmail.com. We will soon release a few prototypes for private purchase (under a G1G1 model to help finance further prototypes for the pilots). Stay tuned for more details.

Big thanks to Mike Koop and Dan Ehlers for their efforts on the latest PCB layout. Another big thanks to the guys at Liquidware/GL Interfaces for subsidizing the cost of a component.

We also have a message to the Devel, and Health mailing lists:

Fellow developers,

Is your Measure activity feeling neglected? If so, shame on you. =)
I’d like to encourage everyone to build on the great work of Arjun Sarwal and help us extend the sensor interface with our peripheral — the heart rate monitor.

Pictures of the device:

It’s a relatively simple device that measures the blood flow in your finger with an infrared sensor. Powered by USB, the device sends measurements to the XO via the AC/DC sensor interface (audio jack). Using a Measure variant with a heart beat detection method, we are able to display the heart rate (as shown in the pic).

If you’re a developer interested in integrating biofeedback into your application, please email me for more details on how you can get your hands on a few of our peripherals. Otherwise, we are looking for developers who can help us evolve the Measure activity to better suit the lesson plan we have created for the device. The device is not of clinical quality and solely for educational purposes. We are definitely interested in feedback on our direction.

In the short-term, it would be interesting to develop a gui where you could structure a family tree (even extending it to branches for relatives) and allow kids to record measurements for various family members. This could potentially evolve into other health education efforts with a wiki backbone to support health wellness.

Please send me your feedback and your interest!

Tom Boonsiri — OLPC GoldenState

Further details on their blog.  You can also join the OLPC Goldenstate mailing list.

Update: The Heart Rate Monitor is available for pre-order at XOexplosion.

9 thoughts on “Low-cost Heart Rate Monitor for XO-1

  1. I am a college student involved in a program that does project based learning. Our current project is to help a member of the campus dance program create a show in which the music and lightning synced with her heart beat. The problem we have run into is transmitting a live feed from the body sensor to the computer. I was curious about what I read where you inputed your signal through the audio jack.

    Do you have a product that we could purchase that sends a live feed through the audio jack as an audio stream? Also, if you are looking for research or aid developing your product, you could speak with our coordinator to use the Universities resources. Many groups come to us with ideas and allow us as part of our education to expand on their concepts and create presentations or demonstrations to help the growth of their project.

  2. Sounds like an interesting project… After being in the ER, I asked for a new little finger adapter, and was hoping to make something like this, so I plan on trying the XOExplosion parts kit (when available and can afford it) and some other stuff/ideas like for biking health and safety/ learning physiology, etc…

  3. A reputed caridologist in a small town in Karnataka India has set up a Foundation which provides free cardiac treatment to the underprivileged in the area. While they do have equipment for the 64 Slice MDCT Angiography etc. where tests can be expensive catering to those who can afford such tests……he does feel that we can do a lot for poorer people in rural areas who can avoid the cost and inconvenience of travelling long distances, if we can set up a facility to record some basic health data and transmit it electronically. The XO seems to have the potential for a low cost Telemedicine solution fitted with the device you talk of. The foundation has a small fund for research and I wonder if there is anyway to take this forward. Could we have a small team do a test and set up a pilot project here. These are dedicated doctors with adequate infrastructure facilities, a lot of medical and nursing colleges in the vicinity and a needy population segment.

  4. I think this a good ideal what your doing for the children I hope one day I could give my two daughters a lap top computer if god let me thank you so much for making children education much easyer. donna

  5. I may be able to help with free machining of prototype parts. I like the program and what it stands for. I am a one man shop and may be able to help in a small way. Something to consider if applicable. Thank you


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