IMEC, a world-leading
independent research center in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology, and its research
affiliate Holst Centre today present a prototype of an electrocardiogram or
ECG necklace at the IEEE Engineering in Medicine + Biology Conference (EMBC)
in Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA). The technology enables long-term monitoring
of cardiac performance and allows patients to remain ambulatory and continue
their routine daily activities while under observation. The embedded beat detection
algorithm copes with the artefacts inherent to ambulatory monitoring systems.
The ECG necklace is easy to use and characterized by a low power consumption
ensuring 7 days autonomy. It contains IMEC’s proprietary ultra-low power
analog readout ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit), and relies on
a low power commercial radio/microprocessor platform. A wavelet-based heart
beat detection algorithm is embedded in the processor that ensures the accurate
computation of the instantaneous heart rate, even under high level 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. An optional memory module
enables data logging for applications in which the receiving computer is not
in the neighborhood.
Ambulatory cardiac monitoring systems today suffer from inaccurate measurements
due to artefacts which are inherent to ambulatory situations. IMEC’s embedded
beat detection algorithm has been optimized for robust heart beat detection.
It copes with baseline wander, EMG (electromyogram) and motion artefacts, and
high and variable electrode impedance. Heart beat is detected with 1 sample
resolution. The algorithm achieves best-in-class performances, with 99.8% sensitivity
and 99.77% positive predictivity on both the MIT-BIH database and a proprietary
database of ambulatory ECG recordings. A satisfactory performance is achieved
until 0dB SNR (signal to noise ratio).
With the Human++ program, IMEC and Holst Centre aim to leverage their expertise
in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology to develop solutions for a more efficient
and better healthcare. IMEC’s generic technology for wireless ECG systems,
such as the new ECG necklace prototype, can be used for permanent screening
of people at risk of cardiovascular disorders, heart beat and beat analysis
information for fit & healthy people and therapy compliance and follow-up
for people under cardiovascular treatment. Industry can get access to the technology
by joining the Human++ program as research partner or by licensing agreements
for further product development.
Posted September 2ndt, 2009