New wearable technology to track heart failure in users

by | Jan 11, 2023

A recent study from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) described the creation of a prototype of a belt device worn around the waist that employs sensors to continually monitor different heart failure markers in an effort to lower the prevalence of cardiovascular disease.

In the US, 6.2 million persons have heart failure, according to the American Heart Association. By 2030, 8 million people are anticipated to be living in this country.

The press release notes that the two heart failure monitoring methods now in use can be dangerous and expensive. Additionally, only 50% of patients with heart failure are eligible for thoracic monitoring provided by these devices, nor do they need an implanted device. In order to track the progression of heart failure, researchers set out to develop a non-invasive approach.

Researchers from the FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science have created a prototype of the gadget in cooperation with the FAU Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing.

The prototype is a belt that continually measures thoracic impedance, electrocardiogram (ECG), heart rate, and mobility. It is intended to continuously monitor all physiological parameters connected to heart failure. Researchers found that the embedded sensors in the belt could track changes in the parameters after testing the device in various activity conditions, such as sitting, standing, and walking.

Waseem Asghar, PhD and senior author of the study and an associate professor in FAU’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science commented on this, stating: “All of the sensors we integrated into our belt module can easily be worn for a long period of time without affecting the patient’s daily activities… Importantly, continuous and real-time monitoring of heart failure symptoms could alert patients and their health care providers of the patient’s declining health. In turn, health care providers could intervene with medications to avoid patient hospitalization.”

The device’s accuracy in measuring heart rate and capacity to pick up even the smallest variations in thoracic impedance were also highlighted by researchers as advantages. The study’s encouraging findings prompted them to test the gadget on a range of people in order to create an algorithm for detecting heart failure.

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