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Mobile personal ecg (electro-cardio-gram) monitor

The task of the project is to develop an individual-use wireless electrocardiography ecg recording and transmitting device and warning system for long-term monitoring of cardiac risk patients.

The main task of the project is to develop an individual-use wireless ECG recording and transmitting device and warning system for long-term monitoring of cardiac risk patients. It is well known that heart disease is almost the number one cause of death in European countries. To reduce this, early diagnosis is an essential requirement. There are many pathologies where long-term real-time monitoring of electrocardiograms (ECG) is necessary. This procedure is normally only performed in the hospital, sometimes with an unpredictable duration. The patient also needs to be taken away from his or her everyday environment. If there is no other need for staying in the hospital, the person could stay at home to carry out this procedure, thus being in a more comfortable environment. It could also be useful during rehabilitation time for patient self-control and for telemedicine. Existing systems in the market for this purpose are designed for use by medical staff in hospitals. They also have special requirements and are not suitable for use in non-hospital conditions by patients (e.g. the need for a specially equipped area and monitor, a complicated setup, the lack of an automatic warning system with feedback to patient, and a high price.) The basic idea of the project is to develop a user-friendly miniature wireless ECG recording and transmitting device (WERTD), and real-time ECG analysis and warning system (AWS), based on ordinary PCs or Pocket PCs for a patient's individual use. Disturbances of heart function can be monitored and analysed with special software. In the proposed system, the monitoring of three orthogonal Frank ECG leads will be made possible, as will the conversion of these to conventional 12 ECG leads. It provides an opportunity for carrying out a more detailed analysis of ischemic changes in the heart as well as rhythm analysis. Such intelligent monitoring software will contain ECG signal pre-processing, and events on ECG recognition and measurement parts. The recognised cardiac cycles will be analysed with two programmes. The first programme carries out the detection of conduction disturbances and ischemic ECG changes, which take place during various syndromes of coronary heart disease, such as stable angina pectoris, unstable angina pectoris and myocardial infarction. The second programme will be used for detection and analysis of rhythm disorders and unstable conduction disturbances. The heart rhythm and conduction disturbances, as well as ischemic ECG changes according to their severity, could be analysed on-line. Following this, the ECG records and results of analysis would be transmitted to the consulting centre with the aim of instigating the next step, such as calling the patient to hospital or sending an ambulance to the patient's home. It is believed that specific disturbances in any localisation of the heart, which are not seen in commonly used commercial monitoring systems, will be detected more frequently by use of the proposed monitoring system. The programme of heart rhythm analysis could detect disturbances of rhythm on-line as ventricular and supra-ventricular extra-systol runs, tachycardia, bradycardia, and changes of the main rhythm, and immediately inform the consulting centre about detected events. Such an ECG monitoring system based on distributed intelligence, may well help the patient's health and save their life in urgent and dangerous patient situations. WERTD must pick up and transmit selected lead sets of patient ECGs to AWS, and provide sound feedback if AWS has detected a critical event. It will also have a pushbutton to activate the AWS warning system based on the patient's decision. AWS software provides continuous loop recordings of received ECGs with simultaneous filtering on presented pathologic events (PE). In case of PE occurrences or pushbutton pressing, a warning system is activated, pre and post event segments of ECGs are permanently stored and the message is sent to the selected address to warn the medical staff or service in charge. To give professionals the possibility to evaluate the situation, the AWS would have remote access from medical service providers. In the case where remote access is not possible, a warning may be sent using mobile phones (as SMS - Short Messaging Service). Additionally, during the WERTD development, there is the possibility of patient physical activity sensor implementations being evaluated. It may provide AWS and physicians with additional information about a patient's position and their intensity of movement. At the same time, Personal ECG monitors can be used as wireless monitoring systems in other areas where wiring causes problems or is impossible, like sports medicine, rehabilitation, etc. Keywords: ECG (Electro-Cardio-Gram) monitor, cardiac risk patient, wireless transmitter).
Acronym: 
HEART GUARD
Project ID: 
3 489
Start date: 
01-07-2005
Project Duration: 
36months
Project costs: 
280 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Medical devices technology (instrumentation, medical imaging, radiology)
Market Area: 
Monitoring equipment

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