US 3426747 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 11, 1969 A. uHERMAN ET AL 3,426,747
METHOD vAND WATCH MECHANISM FOR ACTUATION BY A GARDIAG PULSE Filed Nov. 20, 1967 KQ 1.5 55 6 e7 Z4 INVENTORS W muy l Arm/wer United States Patent Otlee 3,426,747 Patented Feb. 1l, 1969 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Means for driving a watch my means of a cardiac pulse at a rate that varies according to the frequency, strength and regularity of the pulse, and, Kby comparing the rate of operation thereof with a reference watch that operates at a constant and known rate, apprising the user by the deviant reading between the two watches of a corresponding variation in the functioning of the heart.
Cross-reference to related application This appplication is a continuation-in-part of our pending application titled Watch Mechanism for Actuation by a Cardiac Pulse, filed Sept. 27, 1966, Ser. No. 582,337, now abandoned.
Background of the invention The applicants call attention to the following prior United States Letters Patent: Woodworth, 576,180, Feb. 2, 1897; Ricketts, 1,881,389, Oct. 4, 1932; Pellaton, 2,361,563, Oct. 31, 1944; Johnston, 2,828,734, Apr. l, 1958; Briskier, 2,831,479, Apr. 22, 1958; Polanyi, 3,249,- 105, May 3, 1966.
None of the above patents shows an assembly embodying the two watches for the purpose above defined. Nor do any of these patents show any organization in which the switch of an electric circuit, operating a watch, is actuated by the pulse and controls the rate of operation according to the strength, weakness and/ or regularity of the pulse.
Summary of the invention This invention has for an object to provide a device, as contemplated, that may be worn in the manner of an ordinary wrist watch, only requiring care in positioning the same on the wrist in a manner that the switch is located in superposition on the cardiac pulse so as to be operated by the beats thereof.
Since persons with cardiac deficiencies or impairments may be permitted limited physical activities, as a shortened round of golf, and travel and sight-seeing entailing a degree of walking, and persons with abnormally high lblood pressure, or other systemic conditions causing an abnormally high pulse, should also have their physical activities limited, another object of the invention is to provide means that affords a constant check on the level of such activities, permitting partaking thereof, yet giving notice of over-exertion and like tell-tale signs that the activities should be lessened or stopped entirely.
The invention also contemplates novel combinations of method steps as well as novel details of construction and novel combinations and arrangements of parts, which will appear more fully in the course of the following description, which is based on the accompanying drawing. However, said drawing merely shows, and the following description merely describes the invention with respect to, preferred methods and apparatus, the same, nevertheless, being given by way of illustration or example only.
Brief description of the drawing In the drawing, like reference characters designate similar parts in the several views.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a pulse-actuated watch mechanism as embodied in a wrist bracelet, and showing a preferred form ofthe invention.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged and fragmentary sectional view of a pulse-operated switch used in said mechanism.
FIG. 3 is a similarly enlarged longitudinal sectional view as taken on the line 3 3 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a longitudinal sectional view as taken on the line 4 4 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a wiring schematic of electrical means to operate the pulse-actuated watch of said mechanism.
FIG. 6 is a further enlarged longitudinal sectional view of an audible alarm used in the device.
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view as taken on the line 7-7 of FIG. 6.
FIG. 8 is a semi-diagrammatic view of a modification of the differential gearing means used in the construction.
Description of the preferred embodiments In the following specification and claims, the term predetermined normal pulse is used to define that pulse rate of a person that is normal for him and which may vary as much or more than ten beats higher or ten beats lower than the generally accepted norm of seventy-two a minute for a young, healthy male; and the terms strength and regularity are used as frequency variation factors resulting from either a lower or higher pulse beat and/or the regularity of the beat; the term amplitude is used to describe the distension of the pulse which, even though beating at a normal rate, may distend to a greater or lesser degree irregularly, thereby producing uniformly spaced closings of the switch yet closings that are irregularly of different duration. The above terms are used to represent factors that cause an alteration in the rhythm of the heartbeat, either in time or force, that is of functional or organic origin, i.e., a condition of arrhythmia.
The present invention comprises, generally, a pulseactuated switch 9, an electric battery or cell 10, a control Watch 11 provided with adjustable driving means 12 and controlled by said switch, an electric circuit 13 operatively connecting said switch, cell and driving means, a reference watch 14, differential gearing means 15 connecting the hour shafts 16 and 17, respectively, of the watches 11 and 14, mean-s 18 for adjusting the rate of operation of the watch 11 and, therefore, the synchrony of the watches 11 and 14, and audible alarms 19 and 19a that are set oif -by the differential gearing means and sound when the control watch 11, due to arrhythmia, deviates from its adjusted rate of operation, i.e., slows relative to the reference watch 14 to a degree indicating that, relative to a normal pulse, the pulse action is slower, weaker and/or interrupted, as may be due to irregular heart action, or the control watch speeds up to indicate abnormally rapid heart action relative to the normal pulse. The above generally described components are preferably housed or carried by a case 20, a bracelet 21 ibeing provided for holding said case 20 on the users wrist, and the switch 9 being embodied in or carried by the bracelet 21 in position superposed on the pulse to Ibe actuated by the beat thereof.
The switch 9, best shown in FIG. 2, comprises a pair of contacts 25 and 26 on an insulating plate in a recess formed in an element 27 of the bracelet 21. A contact bridge 28 is normally spaced from the contacts 25 and 26 by a lresilient member 29, and a flexible diaphragm 30 in a bezel 31 is normally outwardly bowed due to the expansion of member 29 and a resilient block 32 interposed between the bridge 28 and said diaphragm. The switch shown represents a means for closing the circuit 13 when distension of the pulse engages and causes inward deflection of the diaphragm 30 to effect bridging contact by the bridge 28 across the terminals 25 and 26. Thus, as the diaphragm is alternately inwardly deflected and released, the circuit 13 is intermittently closed and, therefore, intermittently energized by the cell 10. In the absence of arrhythmia, the make-and-break of the switch will be regular, and the operation of the watch 11, as driven by the means 12, will keep it operating at the same rate and show the same time as the reference watch 14; if interrupted or otherwise affected by arrhythmia, this watch 11 will slow up relative to the watch 14.
The cell 10, preferably of the mercury type and of disclike Iform, is shown in FIG. 3 as seated in and with one terminal grounded to a housing 33 mounted on the inside of the case one contact 25 of the switch 9 is connected by one line of the circuit 13 to said housing 33, and thereby to one side or terminal of said cell 10.
The control watch 11 may comprise any suitable form of watch the frame 11a of which may mount the adjustable driving means 12, and is mounted in the case 20. Said means 12 is in electrical connection between the other contact 26 of the switch 9 through the other line of the circuit 13 to and through the driving means 12 to said one line of said circuit.
The adjustable driving means 12 for the watch 11 is shown in FIG. 5, the same comprising a solenoid 34 mounted on the Iframe 11a of watch 11, a floating core or armature 35 movable in the coil 36 of said solenoid, an extension 37 on said core, a driver arm 38 engaged with said extension and moved thereby in an oscillatory manner, and a one-way clutch 39 engaged with said arm and mounted on the second hand shaft 40 of the watch 11. In the usual way, said second hand, by means of a conventional gear train or other operative connection 41, advances the hour shaft 16 of said watch.
As seen in FIG. 5, the switch 9 and the cell 10 are in series with the coil 36, the latter being intermittently energized by the pulse-actuation of bridge 28. In this case, the solenoid 34 is shown as projecting the armature 35 against the bias of a spring 42 to drive the shaft 40 through the arm 38 and clutch 39, the spring, upon opening of the switch 9, retracting the armature and the arm 38 while the shaft remains stationary. The reverse may be used: the spring may move the parts in a driving direction upon de-energization of the coil 36 after the same has been energized. In other words, the means 12 may have an actuating armature and a return spring, or an actuating spring and a return armature.
Since, as above mentioned, normal 'hearts in different individuals may have regular but different beats per minute, the present watch mechanism is readied for use by a person having a particular normal heartbeat rate by adjusting the means 12 to effect a drive of the control watch 11 in synchrony with the reference watch 14, thereby bringing both watches into a relationship whereby their minute and hour hands sweep the respective watches faces in unison. To this end, the stroke of the armature 35 is adjusted to have a maximum movement. This is done by adjusting nuts 37a on the armature so they have limit-stop engagement with the frame 11a conforming to the normal rate of beat of the heart. Therefore, a normally strong but more rapid than normal heartbeat will result in the shaft 16 being driven faster and the-watch 11 to -be speeded up relative to the regular speed of operation of the watch 14. Also, should the arrhythmic action of the 'heartbeat be such as to slow the pulse, lessen the strength or distension thereof, or cause the same to become erratic or irregular, as a result the shaft 16 will be driven slower and the watch 11 will be slowed relative to the regular speed of operation of the watch 14.
Slippage between the armature extension 37 and the arm 38 is obviated, as by providing friction between said extension and arm. To this end, means such as a pressure roller 38a may be used to press the extension against the arcuate end of arm 38. Of course, suitable linkage may be substituted for the friction drive shown.
The reference `watch 14 is also carried by the case 20, its hour shaft 17 being preferably, but not necessarily, arranged in parallelism with the hour lhand 16 0f the control watch 11. Watch 14 may comprise an otherwise conventional electric or spring-driven, or self-winding or automatic watch.
The differential gearing means 15 that connects the two hour hands is shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 as a bevel drive gear 44 on the shaft 17, a Ibevel pinion 45 driven by the gear 44 and carried by one end of a transmission shaft 46 journalled in a bracket 47 mounted in the case 20, and a bevel pinion 48 on the opposite end of the shaft 46 of the same size as pinion 45.
Said pinion 48 drives bevel gear 49. Since the two gear pairs 44, 45 and 48, 49 are the same size, the gear 49 will be driven at the speed of the gear 44. The shaft 50` that mounts the Vgear 49 also mounts a slightly larger bevel gear 51 which, therefore, has the same rotational speed of gears 44 and 49.
The hour shaft 17 mounts a bevel gear 52 of the same size as gear 51, said shaft 17 and the shaft 50 being coaxial, as shown in FIG. 3, and journalled in a bracket S3 mounted in the case 20. An idler gear 54, larger than the gear 48, is meshed with both gears 49 and 52.
While the shafts 16 and 17 are called hour shafts, in practice, one of them may be an hour shaft, and the other a stub shaft driven by the hour shaft of watch 14 counterclockwise to the direction of rotation of the shaft 16. Since gear 51 rotates in the same direction as gear 44, it rotates oppositely to the direction of rotation of the gear S2. Therefore, if the two watches are in synchrony, the idler gear will rotate on its axis and will have an unchanging position so long as the control watch 11, as set by the means 12, is driven 4by pulse movement normal to the individual. Upon a slowing of the watch 11 due to pulse irregularity under arrhythmic heartbeat condition, as above explained, the gear 51 will slow up in relation to the speed ofv gear 52, thereby causing the idler gear 54 not only to turn on its axis, but also to shift its position bodily in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 4. Upon speeding up of the watch 11 due to an inordinately rapid pulse, the gear 51 will speed up in relation to the speed of gear 52, causing the idler gear 54 to shift its position bodily in a counter-clockwise direction. Thus, the differential speeds of the two Watches create a positional shift of the gear 52 that may be used to sound an alarm to apprise the user of pulse irregularity. Of course, visual inspection of the two Watches will reveal this deviant condition, but cannot Ibe fully depended upon.
The means 18 is shown as a cage 55 that is connected to said bracket 53 and is formed with an arcuate side 56 in which a slot 57 is provided, and a stem 58 connected to the idler pinion 54 and provided with a spring 59 that biases the pinion 54 into meshing engagement with the gears 51 and 52. A knob 60 on said stem extends through a slot 61 in the case 20. When the watches are to be synchronized to show the same minute .and hour hand position, the knob 60 is pulled to remove the idler pinion S4 from connection with the gears 51 and 52. Now the watch 11 may be set to the time of the watch 14 by means of the setting stem 62 and, after restoring the stem 58 to its aligned start position if that position has been disturbed, the knob 60 is released to allow the pinion 54 to re-mesh with the gears 51 and 52. Normal operation of the mechanism according to the setting of the means 12 is thus instituted.
The audible alarm 19 is shown as being set off or operated by a lug 63 on the stem 58. Since the gear 54, under differential control as above, may move in either direction from the central position shown in FIG. 4, the alarm 19 may comprise two separate units, as shown, one or the other being operable depending on the direction of bodily movement of the gea-r `54. Each alarm may be of any desired form; the same are here shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 and comprise a housing 64 containing a torsion spring -65 that at one end is connected to a ratchet 66 on a winding stem `67. A lug 68 is connected to trip the ratchet and may be contacted by the lug 63 when the pinion 54 has moved bodily, as above explained, when differential movement of the gears 51 and 52 occurs. The alarm stops when spring 65 runs down, Upon re-set of the means 18, the stem 67 is used for re-winding the alarm. It will be evident that the alarm per se forms no part of this invention and merely represents one manner of giving notice of a differential time condition between the two watches.
The differential means a shown in FIG, 8 is a simplication that employs crown gears instead of bevel gears. T-hus, the driven pinion 48a is meshed with a crown gear 39a, and the latter and differential gear 52a are commonly connected to an idler gear 54a. In other respects, the differential means 15a operates as above described.
Since the speeds of the differential gears are relatively slow, the movement of idler gear 54 from a synchronous position to an alarm-sounding position may be adjusted as by shifting the position of the alarm 19. This will insure against premature sounding of the alarm upon every small fluctuation in the pulse beat.
The watches may be placed in synchrony vat any time by actuating the means 18 and by adjusting the driving means 12 for the control watch 11 so the two watches operate and move their respective hands angularly around their respective axes 16 and 17 simultaneously and identically, to remain in synchrony. FIG. l shows the hands in such synchronous relation. Any change in the position of the hands of watch 11 with respect to the position of the hands of watch 14 is indicative of a loss of sy-nchrony. The latter condition occurs when the frequency of the pulse beat abnormally increases or decreases due to arrhythmia.
While the foregoing illustrates and describes what are now contemplated to be the best modes of carrying out the invention with respect to both the method and apparatus, the same is, of course, subject to modification without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Therefore, it is not desired to restrict the invention to the particular method steps or combination or sequence of steps described, nor to the particular forms of construction illustrated and described, but to cover all equivalents or modifications of method and apparatus that may fall within the scope of the appended claims.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. The method of determining the function of a heart with respect to arrhythmic variations in the beat thereof in relation to a normal heart which vconsists in operating a control watch through a mechanism actuated by an electric circuit having a source of power and a switch means opened and closed by a cardiac pulse, synchronizing the initial operation of the control watch with a continuously operating reference Watch, whereby the operation of the control watch by the cardiac pulse can be compared with the movement of the reference watch, and continuously operating the control watch by the cardiac pulse, whereby a deviant reading of the cardiac pulse-actuated watch compared with the reference watch can be related to indicate to the observer the corresponding variations in the functioning of the heart.
2. A cardiac pulse-actuated watch mechanism comprising, in combination:
(a) a control watch provided with an electric driving means,
(tb) an electric cell for energizing said means to operate the watch,
(c) a normally-open switch that is adapted to he intermittently closed -by pulsations of the pulse when in superposed contact with the pulse,
(d) an electric circuit connecting the watch-driving means, cell and switch to operate said watch under control of the pulse according to arrhythmic variations of the heartbeat from normal,
(e) said watch being provided with an operating shaft and with angularly movable hands,
(f) a case to mount said control watch and the electric cell,
(g) a reference watch provided with a driven shaft and with angularly movable hands and mounted in the case, the latter watch being conventionally continuously driven at a constant speed,
(h) means connecting the mentioned shafts of the two watches and constituting means to synchronize the speed of operation of the control watch with the consta-nt speed of the reference watch,
(i) the control watch-driving means being provided with means to adjust the same to synchronize the angular movement of the hands of said watch with the constant-speed angular movement of the hands of the reference watch during a predetermined and normal frequency of the cardiac pulse, the movement of the hands of the control watch falling out of synchrony with the movement of the hands of the reference watch when the frequency of the pulse, due to arrhythmia, varies from said normal, thereby to apprise of such variation, and
(j) means to conform the identity of the angular positions of the hands of the two watches.
3. A cardiac pulse-actuated watch mechanism according to claim 2, including means provided with an alarm and interconnecting the mentioned shafts of the two Watches to cause operation of the alarm upon differential of rotational speed of said shafts.
4. A pulse-actuated watch mechanism according to claim 3, in which the last-mentioned means includes differential gearing having an alarm actuator gear that is moved to alarm-sounding position when the mentioned speed differential occurs.
5. In a cardiac pulse-actuated mechanism,
(a) a control watch having hands angularly movable around an axis and having an operating shaft to move said hands and provided with an electrical driver provided with a gear driven in one direction by said shaft,
(b) a reference watch of continuously operating design and having a continuously driven shaft and angularly movable hands, and a gear driven by said driven shaft in the opposite direction to the first-mentioned gear, and
(c) differential gearing connecting said two gears and including a pinion that has a stationary axis when both said gears rotate at the same speed, the axis of said pinion shifting around the axis of the mentioned shaft of the reference watch upon the differential gearing adjusting to a change in the rates of speed of the two shafts,
(d) the control watch-driving means being provided with means to adjust the same to synchronize the angular movement of the hands of said watch with the constant-speed angular movement of the hands yof the reference watch during a predetermined and normal frequency of the cardiac pulse, the movement of the hands of the control watch falling out of synchrony with the movement of the hands of the reference watch when the frequency of the pulse, due to arrhythmia, Varies from said normal, thereby to apprise of such variation.
6. In a watch mechanism according to claim 5,
(a) an alarm device, and
7 (b) means carried by said pinion and engaging said device when the axis of the pinion has shifted as mentioned.
7. In a watch mechanism according to claim 6, means to retract the pinion from connecting engagement with the watch-driven gears to enable synchronizing adjustment of the watches.
8. A watch mechanism according to claim 2, provided with means to adjust the rate of drive of the driving means according to the normal beat of the pulse.
9. A Watch mechanism according to claim 8 in which the driving means comprises:
(a) a solenoid having a floating armature the coil of which is connected in the mentioned circuit and is energized to actuate the armature when the switch is closed, and (b) means connecting said solenoid armature to the 5 mentioned shaft of the control watch to intermittently drive said shaft at a rate conforming to the beat of the pulse.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 10 2,828,734 4/1958 Johnston ..-12S-2.05
WILLIAM E. KAMM, Primary Examiner.