Emergency Alerts and ECG as Text Message

The heart monitor measures electrical signals from the heart, analyses them to produce an electrocardiogram (ECG) and sends an alert together with the ECG by cell phone text message.

Cardiovascular disease kills almost 20 million people each year. Lives can often be saved if acute care and cardiac surgery are carried out within the so-called golden hour. And, survival rates are on the increase as treatments improve. However, this means there are more and more patients whose cardiac health has to be monitored so that follow-up treatment can be given if problems arise. Available methods of heart monitoring usually restrict the mobility of patients to a hospital or a single room.

Thulasi Bai and S.K. Srivatsa of the Sathyabama University in Tamil Nadu, have developed a wearable cardiac telemedicine system that allows post-cardiac patients renewed mobility.

Thulasi Bai's prototype Bluetooth heart monitor records periodically an electrocardiogram (ECG) and transmits the information via radio frequency signals to the patient's cell phone. The modified phone has an added analyzer circuit that checks the ECG signal for signs of imminent cardiac failure. If errant signals are detected, such as any arrhythmia, the cell phone alerts the patient and transmits a sample of the ECG signal to the nearest medical care centre, via the SMS text service, together with patient details.

The device could give patients who have already had one heart attack a much greater chance of receiving life-saving treatment within the golden hour period.

"Our Wearable Cardiac Telemedicine System can help the mobility of patients, so they can regain their independence and return to an active social life or work schedule," explains Bai, "thereby improving their psychological well-being and quality of life."

COMPAMED.de; Source: Inderscience Publishers