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Raspberry Pi HAT does vital sign monitoring for $195

Jun 6, 2017 — by Eric Brown 3,699 views

ProtoCentral’s HealthyPi is a $195, open source HAT add-on for vital sign monitoring, including ECG/respiration, pulse oximetry, and temperature.

Bangalore, India-based ProtoCentral has gone to Crowd Supply to launch a multi-parameter patient monitoring HAT add-on for the Raspberry Pi 3. The open source Healthy Pi v3 is a highly affordable solution for DIY home health monitoring or healthcare in emerging nations, and can also be used in education, research, and medical device prototyping.

HealthyPi HAT board (left) and encased complete kit system
(click images to enlarge)

The HealthyPi lacks certifications such as FDA approval, so it can’t be used in medical facilities in the U.S. or other highly regulated countries. However, as a monitoring device, it’s unlikely that it poses any danger. The HealthyPi hardware is available with Eagle schematics, layout files, and BOM.

The basic HAT kit features temperature, pulse oximetry, and ECG/respiration sensors, as well as 20 adhesive electrodes. It sells for $195, although if you act soon, there may be a few $175 early bird packages left.


There’s also complete kit, which adds a Raspberry Pi 3 SBC, as well as the official Raspberry Pi 7” touchscreen, a SmartiPi Touch case, a 2.5A isolated, 5V/2.5A USB power adapter, and a 16GB microSD card pre-loaded with Raspbian and the otherwise freely downloadable, open source HealthyPi software. The complete kit goes for $369 (early bird) or $395. All packages are set to ship on July 10.

HealthyPi with Raspberry Pi 3
(click image to enlarge)

The 65 x 56.5 x 6mm HealthyPi board integrates an Atmel ATSAMD21 Cortex-M0 MCU that is said to be compatible with the Arduino Zero. It ships with an Arduino Zero bootloader. Other key components in the basic kit include:

  • ECG and respiration front-end — TI ADS1292R 24-bit analog front-end with SNR of 107 dB
  • Pulse oximetry — TI AFE4490 Pulse Oximetry front-end with integrated LED driver and 22-bit ADC
  • Temperature — Maxim MAX30205 digital body temperature sensor with cable mounts and stainless steel contacts
  • Three-electrode cable with “button” connectors on one end and a stereo connector on the other
  • Finger-clip So2 probe with “Nellcor-compatible” DB9 connector
  • 20x disposable ECG electrodes (Covidien Medi-Trace)
  • HAT mounting kit

The HealthyPi connects to the Raspberry Pi 3 via the UART interfaces on the 40-pin header. There’s also a USB CDC device interface and an extra UART connector for hooking up an external blood pressure module.

HealthyPi Complete Kit contents (left) and GUI software
(click images to enlarge)

The patient monitoring firmware compiles with Arduino or Atmel Studio. A JTAG header offers optional JTAG programming of the device instead of using Arduino.

There’s also Java- and Raspbian-based GUI software that runs on the Pi. The software integrates an MQTT client that can send real-time vital signs data to any MQTT client/server “with minimum overhead,” enabling remote patient monitoring, says ProtoCentral.

Further information

The HealthyPi v3 is available now on Crowd Supply starting at $195 for the basic HAT add-on board, or a complete kit starting at $369 (early bird) or $395. All packages are set to ship on July 10, and volume discounts are available. More information may be found at the HealthyPi Crowd Supply page and the ProtoCentral website.

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