IMEC puts heart beat on Android phones

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Healthcare costs could be cut by an app for android phones that stores and displays electrocardiograms sensed over a wireless body area network (BAN).

Hardware and software have come from consortium of: Belgian Lab IMEC, its Dutch subsidiary Holst Centre, and embedded software firm TASS.

“The innovation is a low-power interface that transmits signals from a wireless ECG sensor system to an android mobile phone,” said IMEC. “With this interface, we are the first to demonstrate a complete BAN connected to a mobile phone enabling reliable long-term ambulatory monitoring of various health parameters such as cardiac performance, brain activity and muscle activity.”

Data collected by the wireless sensors it transmitted to the phone where it is collected, processed and stored, as well as sent over the internet if doctors need to view it remotely.

Alarm thresholds can be set to send out automatic alerts.

The phone-end transceiver plugs into the mobile through the standard SDIO port “enabling the integration of all the features available on Google‘s operating system: SMS, e-mail, data transmission over the internet and GPS to track user location”, said IMEC. “Moreover, the mobile phone’s hardware is extended to operate with low-power communication protocols and low-power radios, enabling long-term medical telemonitoring.”

As the interface is based on the Linux kernel, the system is portable to Linux PDAs and laptops.

It will be demonstrated at the Wireless Health Conference in San Diego this week.

Tags: body area network, ECG, EEG, EMG, heart, Holst, IMEC, TASS, wireless

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