"Information for Informatics: Cardiac Biophysical Monitoring"

Michael R. Neuman, PhD, MD
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Michigan Technological University
Houghton, Michigan, U.S.A.


Medical informatics includes many different types of data ranging from patient medical histories through complex images. In this tutorial lecture we will look at biophysical data taken as diagnostic measurements, therapeutic monitoring, and assessment of rehabilitation. A patient's electronic medical record is not complete without such data, yet much of the time only its interpretation is documented. An important factor in collecting and archiving this data is understanding how it is collected. We will review the types of biophysical data that are taken and recorded and look at the sensors and instrumentation used to collect this data as well as present some recent work being carried out in our laboratory. The four vital signs present important information for any clinical encounter, and two of these, heart rate and blood pressure, are important assessments of the cardiovascular system. Techniques to obtain this information as sampled data or on a continuous basis will be described. Cardiac monitoring devices for ambulatory and in-hospital monitoring are also important for identifying significant cardiac arrhythmias. The signals from this instrumentation can be also analyzed to, in some cases, assess clinical prognosis using techniques such as quantifying heart rate variability. The non-invasive and continuous measurement of blood pressure is one of the more difficult yet clinically significant biophysical measurements, and techniques to do this will be described. Finally, we will consider cardiac output, blood flow, and tissue perfusion as important measurements where improved techniques are still needed.


Michael R. Neuman has been professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Michigan Technological University from 2003 through 2010 and continues as Professor in the Department. He previously held the Herbert Herff Chair at the Memphis Joint Program in Biomedical Engineering. Prior to that Dr. Neuman served for thirty-two years on the faculty at Case Western Reserve University in the Departments of Biomedical and Electrical Engineering in the School of Engineering and the Departments of Reproductive Biology and Obstetrics and Gynecology in the School of Medicine. He received the BS, MS and PhD degrees in electrical engineering in 1961, 1963, and 1966 respectively from Case Institute of Technology and the MD from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 1974. His primary research interests have been in the application of microelectronic techniques and technology to problems in clinical medicine emphasizing perinatal medicine. In 1989 Dr. Neuman joined the NSF Engineering Research Center for Emerging Cardiovascular Technologies, a consortium of several universities based at Duke University where he and Professor Richard Buck of the Department of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina co-directed the biomedical sensors thrust. He has served two terms as President of the International Society on Biotelemetry from 1984 through 1988, was an IEEE-EMBS AdCom member, and was Editor in Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering from 1989 through 1996. He also was Editor in Chief of the international journal, Physiological Measurement from 2002 through 2007. He currently serves as Editor in Chief of the biomedical engineering magazine, IEEE PULSE. He has published 169 scientific papers and holds five patents. In addition to his academic and editorial duties, Dr. Neuman serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors of Portage Health, a local community hospital and group medical practice.