Background: Current protocol for monitoring high-risk patients in psychiatric hospital calls for a staff member to enter each room every 15 minutes to visually ensure that each patient is still breathing. This protocol has been set up for fast intervention in the case of a patient’s self-inflicting harm. However, this procedure is disruptive to the patients and a burden for the care providers.

Objective: Continuous and automated overnight monitoring of psychiatric patients for a complete cessation of breath, that eliminates the need for frequent in-person checks.

Method: An IRB approved study conducted in a simulated lab environment, with a radar device placed in the ceiling above the bed. 14 volunteers simulated episodes of respiratory arrest.

Results: The extracted radar signal not only tracks the episodes of complete breath cessation but also estimates the respiration rate with more than 92% accuracy, during normal breathing.

Conclusion: Our proposed approach provides the means for care providers in psychiatric hospitals to ensure the patients can breathe without disturbing the patients’ sleep.

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