Ford Develops Heart Seat

Generally, in order to discover your blood pressure, it is a matter of your physician putting that cuff around your arm, applying the stethoscope, and pumping up that bulb that applies pressure, that is subsequently released.

Generally, in order to discover your blood pressure, it is a matter of your physician putting that cuff around your arm, applying the stethoscope, and pumping up that bulb that applies pressure, that is subsequently released. Or one day soon, you may just sit in your Ford.

That is, engineers at from Ford’s European Research Centre in Aachen, Germany, and Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen University have developed a seat that uses six special sensors to monitor the driver’s heart activity. The sensors detect the electrical impulses generated by the heart.

A primary application area is for those in “more mature age groups,” who are likely to have heart issues. In Europe, according to Ford, the percentage of the population 65 or older has more than doubled between 1950 to 2000 such that it now represents 20.6% of the population. And that cohort is going to do nothing but increase.

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Explains Dr. Achim Lindner, Ford Research Centre medical officer, “The system will be able to inform if someone is having a cardiovascular issue, for example a heart attack, and could also be used to detect the symptoms of other conditions. This doesn’t only benefit the driver; the roads could be made safer for all users.”

Potentially, the information could be sent to specialists who could monitor the condition of drivers who have heart issues and provide alerts.

One wonders: Can you imagine the amount of high numbers would be sent out by drivers on almost any LA freeway during rush hour?