Hugo Silva and Margarida Reis, researchers from the Pattern and Image Analysis group of IT in Lisbon, have developed a prototype called CloudBIT, a plug & play device that allows sending BITalino biosignals directly to a cloud (RepoVizz) using only a Wi-Fi connection.
Existing wearable and portable cardiac sensing systems, that inspect both the heart´s electrical (ElectroCardioGram - ECG) and mechanical (PhonoCardioGram - PCG, UltraSound - US) condition, require a base station (a computer or a smartphone) to record the data or to mediate the communication between the devices and the cloud. On the other hand, existing connected devices either have prohibitive costs, offer limited functionality or are difficult to use.
This cloud-based “off-the-person” cardiac signal acquisition and storage tool is one of the key ideas of SmartHeart, a IT internal project that joins three of IT research groups, which have independently created technology and accumulated knowledge in the field of cardiac sensing and signal processing. This project builds upon original work partially developed by the team in the field of cardiac sensing and signal processing within projects such as “DigiScope”, “HeartSafe”, “ICT for Future Health”, “HeartBIT” and “BITalino” (http://bitalino.com).
A research developed by Gabriel Falcão, (IT / UC), Pedro Duarte (UC) and Pedro Tomás (INESC-ID/IST-UL), in the area of optimized microchips for artificial intelligence, assured the first Portuguese publication in the prestigious international conference on microarchitecture of computers - MICRO - already in its 50th edition (https://www.microarch.org/micro50/).
The researchers developed a new software tool that allows to automatically analyze a program and generate an optimized processor (with a very reduced chip area and lower power consumption), so that it can be used in reconfigurable Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) chips.
The new technology, that has led to this (long-time) ambitioned publication, “enables to develop hardware using an approach similar to typical software development. This results in major advantages, particularly in terms of increasing the user community, conventional programmers who typically do not possess the microcircuit design skills to conceive the processors manually”, said the researchers.
The paper was presented in Boston, USA, during the MICRO conference (October 14-18), which has a very competitive acceptance rate of around 15%, and only publishes approximately 50 articles per year.
Along with the Portuguese researchers, there were other research teams participating in the conference, from universities such as the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), CMU (Carnegie Mellon University), Stanford, California, Michigan, Austin Texas, Columbia, Minnesota, North Carolina State University, Penn State, Illinois, the University of Toronto, among other, and companies like Intel, IBM, NVIDIA, Google, Qualcomm, Oracle and Samsung.
The research now published originates from the MSc thesis of Pedro Duarte, completed in the University of Coimbra under the supervision of Gabriel Falcão and Pedro Tomás.
On the photo, from left to right: Gabriel Falcão and Pedro Duarte