Necklace ECG enables fast and easy monitoring for a trial fibrillation

May 8, 2020

A trial fibrillation – essentially an abnormal heart rhythm – is a major, often symptomless cause of strokes. An experimental new necklace designed by scientists at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) could greatly help people most at risk of atrial fibrillation by ensuring fast, simple and periodic checks of their heart.

Just like a regular accessory, the necklace ECG is intended to be worn at all times. It features a pendant that incorporates a single-lead ECG (electrocardiogram) and its accompanying smartphone app enables wearers to check the electrical activity of their heart.

Wearers simply need to press the pendant between one palm and their chest, or between both palms, for 30 seconds for the heart rhythm data to be recorded. The data transmitted from the ECG is then sent to a cloud-based server and analysed by computer-based algorithms. Within just a few seconds, if abnormal patterns are detected, both the patient and their physician will be notified.

According to UEF medical student Elmeri Santala, the necklace ECG is “simple to use and improves the likelihood of detecting atrial fibrillation.” The observation follows an evaluation of the technology, where 145 adult volunteers used the necklace to check their heart rhythm while simultaneously undergoing a traditional “gold standard” three-lead ECG test. Both tests were found to be highly accurate – the necklace test, however, could be done at any place and time.

The European Society of Cardiology (ESC), an independent, nonprofit organisation, similarly thinks automated analysis by the necklace ECG is “well-suited” for regular screening for atrial fibrillation in people over 65 years of age and in those at high risk of stroke.


Category: Features, Technology & Devices

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