LONDON Research group IMEC (Leuven, Belgium) has extended the functionality of its wireless ECG patch for cardiac monitoring by adding wave analysis software locally on the patch node.
The algorithm can now cover a broader range of wave morphologies.
IMEC has also announced that National Semiconductor has joined as a partner within its Human++ program, part of the activities in the Holst Centre work, in which companies such as Alcatel-Lucent, ASML, Bekaert, NXP, Philips, Target Compiler Technologies and Texas Instruments are already involved.
The wireless ECG patch is a wearable, wireless system that removes the disturbances and discomfort caused by existing cardiac monitoring systems. The detector combines electronic assembly on flexible polyimide substrate and integration in textile. This enables flexibility in one dimension and stretchability in the other, offering additional comfort to the patient.
The patch integrates IMEC's proprietary ultralow-power biopotential ASIC to extract the bio-potential signals produced during the ECG measurements; a commercial microcontroller and a 2.4GHz radio link. The patch monitor the patient's heart at a sample rate of up to 1KHz, sending the results directly to the receiver, or it can analyze the signals locally before sending them. The current autonomy with local delineation is 10 days of continuous monitoring.
The group's Human++ program develops technology for wireless autonomous sensor systems that can be used for health and wellness monitoring. Such systems will for example enable analysis of people with sleep apnea from home or monitor epilepsy patients in an ambulatory setting.
The program was launched in 2002 and got a considerable boost in 2005 when IMEC decided to house it in Holst Centre, which was established with the Dutch research institute TNO with backing from the Dutch government.
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