Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Biosensor for smartphone measures six data points

Steve Rogerson
January 3, 2018

A biosensor from Taiwanese company MediaTek brings health monitoring to smartphones. Called Sensio, it can track heart rate information, blood pressure trends, peripheral oxygen saturation levels and more.
Available as an embedded module in smartphones, Sensio makes it possible for consumers to quickly check and monitor physical wellness on a smartphone.
"Giving people the power to access their health information with a smartphone is a major step in making the world a healthier place," said Yenchi Lee, director of product marketing for MediaTek's wireless business. "With our MediaTek Sensio biosensor module and software, developers and device makers have a powerful, embedded health monitoring solution that delivers heart and fitness information in around 60 seconds."
The Sensio MT6381 is a module with software designed to deliver health data, and consists of optical, electrical and processing components. The customisable modules means device manufacturers have the flexibility to embed the module directly into all types of smartphones, instead of using multiple sensors. Manufacturers can develop proprietary applications or leverage third-party applications and developer add-ons.
The module uses LEDs with a light sensitive sensor to measure the absorption of red and infra-red light by the user's fingertips. When users touch a device's sensors and electrodes with their fingertips, it creates a closed loop between the heart and the biosensor to measure ECG and PPG waveforms.
Sensio delivers these six health data points in about 60 seconds:

  • Heart-rate: heart beats per minute;
  • Heart-rate variability: variation in the time between heartbeats;
  • Blood pressure trends: blood pressure trends so users can see a range of data over time;
  • Peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2): amount of oxygen in the blood;
  • Electrocardiography (ECG): electrical activity of the heart over a period of time displayed in a graph; and
  • Photoplethysmography (PPG): change in volume of blood.
Features include: integrated red and infra-red LEDs for reflective PPG measurement plus one-channel ECG analogue front-end; 6.8 by 4.93 by 1.2 mm Olga 22-pin package; total external BoM comprises four capacitors and two electrodes; and I2C or SPI digital interface.