ECG patch enables long term monitoring of cardiac patients

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An innovative body patch that integrates an ultra low power electrocardiogram (ECG) chip and a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radio has been unveiled by imec and Holst Centre.

Designed for long term monitoring in health, wellness and medical applications, the new ECG patch can measure up to 3 lead ECG signals, tissue contact impedance and includes a 3d accelerometer for physical activity monitoring. According to imec, the data captured by the system can be processed and analysed locally, and then transmitted through BLE to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. At the heart of the ECG SoC is a mixed signal ASIC, which has been custom designed to provide ECG monitoring and high processing power while consuming just 280µA at 2.1V. The patch also has a built in 12bit a/d converter, which is capable of sampling QRS waves at high frequency, and other waves at a lower frequency (adaptive sampling) The ECG SoC is designed to run algorithms for motion artifact reduction (based on adaptive filtering or principal component analysis) and beat to beat heart rate computation. It can also run application specific algorithms such as epileptic seizure detection, energy expenditure estimation and arrhythmia monitoring.