The Next Generation of Wireless Physiologic Monitoring.
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The Berkeley Tricorder


The Berkeley Tricorder is still the (as far as we know) the smallest multi-parameter wireless physiologic monitor capable of recordign a wide range of physiologic paramters. The latest version of the hardware includes an electrocardiograph (ECG), electromyogram (EMG), a bioimpedance spectrometer used for respiration monitoring (though other applications exist), a pulse oximeter (SpO2), and an acceleromter for motion and activity monitoring. Wireless telemetry is provided over a Bluetooth link, and persistent data storage is provided via a µSD card on a FAT filesystem.

The Berkeley Tricorder started as a course project that became a multi-year gradaute thesis undertaken by (now Dr.) Reza Naima and supervised by Dr. John Canny in the Berkeley Institude of Design under the UCSF/UCB BioEngineering department. The goal was to explore the space of continuous, non-invasive, health monitoring for a number of applications ranging from monitoring activities of daily motion to early detection of life critical events.

In order to explore this space, a small and highly integrated wireless monitoring platform had to be developed and optmized for low power operation. Additionally, the physiology of various use cases for the were used in designing the output of the Berkeley Tricroder to make it scientifically relevant. As is obvious from the number of revisions, a lot of time was spent optimizing and testing the hardware - and using them in a number of stuies. One such study explored the notion of objective measurement of stress through physiology in an ambulatory setting.

In order to prevent 5 years of work from becoming obsolete, we are releasing the bulk of the work performed to the open-source under a BSD-license with several goals in mind.

  • That other researchers can utilize this hardware to help enable novel research
  • That others can benefit from the years of design effort and use this hardware as reference platform for future implementations
  • To help develop a community of people with interest in non-invasive physiologic monitoring technology to allow for collaboration and discussion
  • To enable future growth of the Berkeley Tricorder through input from the open-source community

Note: This device is intended for research use only


  • Overview
  • Channels: ECG, EMG, SpO2, Bioimpedance (Respiration), Accelerometer
  • Resolution: ECG,EMG 12-bit; SpO2 15-bit; Bioimpedance 16-bit
  • Sampling Rate: ECG, EMG 1024Hz; All others 256Hz
  • Dimensions: 3.6 x 2.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Telemetry: Bluetooth
  • Storage: µSD card via FAT filesystem
iPad Data Visualization
1st version displayed on PocketPC
Typical Configuration
Hardware Design Overview