Scientists find new way to accurately monitor heart failure 24/7

Credit: FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science

In a study from Florida Atlantic University, scientists designed a novel wearable belt with sensors that accurately monitors heart failure 24/7.

Heart failure is a progressive clinical syndrome characterized by a structural abnormality of the heart, in which the heart is unable to pump sufficient blood to meet the body’s requirements.

There are currently two heart failure monitoring systems available. However, they are costly and pose risks because they are surgically implanted under the skin.

Moreover, about half of patients with heart failure do not need an implantable device or do not qualify for the thoracic (area between the neck and abdomen) monitoring these devices provide.

There is a critical need for non-invasive solutions to monitor heart failure progression around the clock.

In the study, researchers developed a prototype of a novel wearable device that can continuously monitor all of the physiological parameters associated with heart failure in real-time.

The technology is based on sensors embedded in a lightweight belt conveniently worn around the waist to monitor thoracic impedance, electrocardiogram (ECG), heart rate and motion activity detection.

The system uses different sensors for sensing these parameters. Thoracic impedance is a critical bio-signal to monitor heart failure progression.

Similarly, ECG is a vital bio-signal to diagnose and predict cardiovascular diseases.

ECG measures electrical signals through the heart using a Holter monitor, which is not suitable for point-of-care use.

The researchers tested the wearable device in different conditions including sitting, standing, lying down, and walking.

For each condition, results were obtained for each of the sensors sequentially. The physiological parameters selected are significant in determining heart failure symptoms.

Findings showed that all of the sensors kept track of the changes for all of the different conditions.

The position sensor correctly highlighted the change in position in different conditions and could be used to identify different states of the wearer of the device.

In addition, the heart rate sensor continually kept track of the heart rate. Importantly, the device correctly highlighted minute changes in thoracic impedance.

The researchers expect that their technology will have higher predictive values for heart failure with increased specificity and high sensitivity.

If you care about heart attacks, please read studies about a new way to treat heart attacks, and new way to repair damage after heart attack.

For more information about heart health, please see recent studies about how to tell panic attack or heart attack, and results showing doing exercise this way is best for your heart health.

The study was conducted by Sheikh M. A. Iqbal et al and published in Scientific Reports.

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