IMEC and research affiliate the Holst Centre has unveiled a prototype ECG necklace that provides people with remote and accurate monitoring of their cardiac performance without impeding daily routines.
The ECG necklace, presented this week at the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, contains IMEC’s proprietary ultra-low power analogue-readout ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit), and relies on a low-power commercial radio/microprocessor. In operation, the necklace can operate continuously for seven days.
A wavelet-based heartbeat detection algorithm is embedded in the processor that IMEC says ensures the accurate computation of the instantaneous heart rate, even under high levels of noise.
A second ultra-low power microcontroller unit controls the wireless transmission of the ECG data to a computer within a range of 10m.
Ambulatory cardiac monitoring systems today suffer from inaccurate measurements due to artefacts which are inherent to ambulatory situations.
IMEC’s embedded beat-detection algorithm is said to have been optimised for robust heartbeat detection and can compensate for baseline wander, EMG (electromyogram) and motion artefacts, plus high and variable electrode impedance.