Heartsense is aimed at streamlining wearable ECG tech
If doctors want to check someone's heart rhythm while that person is out and about, the patient is required to wear what's known as a Holter monitor. Now, however, British scientists have developed what they claim is a cheaper, more comfortable and faster-performing alternative, in the form of the Heartsense monitor.
Not to be confused with the fetal heartbeat monitor of the same name, the Cambridge University-designed Heartsense is strapped to the patient's chest just like a sports-oriented heart rate sensor. There, the waterproof device monitors their heart rhythm via a 3-point ECG (electrocardiogram), plus it also measures their body core temperature and blood oxygen saturation.
The raw data is wirelessly transmitted to a cloud-based server, where artificial intelligence-based algorithms sort through it all in order to detect irregular and/or dangerous heart rhythms, along with possible respiratory problems. Results are displayed and recorded on a smartphone app in real time, for perusal by the patient's doctor.
By contrast, use of a Holter monitor requires attaching several wired leads to the wearer's chest. Additionally, according to the university, it can take several weeks to analyze all of the data gathered by such a device. And while there are already less cumbersome single-lead wearable ECGs available, it's claimed that Heartsense is much more sensitive – in lab tests, it was found to be over 95 percent accurate as compared to a non-portable clinic-based ECG.
Heartsense was invented by Cambridge's Prof. Roberto Cipolla and cardiologist Dr. Rameen Shakur. It is now being commercialized by spinoff company Cambridge Heartwear, and should cost "substantially less" than a Holter monitor.
Source: Cambridge University