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A Test Fixture for Simulating Human Limb Physiology and Soft Tissue Biomechanics

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Final rept. Mar 1988-Apr 1989

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Evaluation of the reliability and accuracy of fieldable vital signs monitoring devices has been a difficult problem. In the civilian sector, the problems are partially circumvented by limiting the operational and environmental requirements. Military vital signs monitors must perform reliably across extreme temperatures, over unique garments, in high noise and vibration environments and other hostile surrounds. A major obstacle in evaluating potential fieldable monitoring devices has been the unavailability of a reliable standard test-jig which accurately simulates the physiology of the human limb with respect to its vascular supply, blood pressure and heart rate. The first task of this project was to first obtain a thorough understanding of how the human limb develops the physiologic signals that the various monitoring instruments detect and interpret as blood pressure and pulse rate. A model arm was constructed so as the incorporate mechanical analogues of collapsible tubes. Simulated blood flow and pressure were driven by a programmable gear pump. Auscultatory, oscillometric, and statometric methods were used to evaluate the model. The success of the project is indicated by the fact that all of these techniques yield reasonable values of simulated pressures and pulse rates. The most important evidence for the success of this effort is that the model does not have to be informed about the specific technique that any available instrument utilizes. Keywords Vital signs monitor Test jig Artificial arm RA II.

Subject Categories:

  • Medical Facilities, Equipment and Supplies
  • Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods

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