Researchers at the Technological Institute of Morelia (ITM) in Mexico, created a device for detecting cardiac arrhythmias in real time, and that turns portable a system that uses electrodes placed on the chest of the patient or as part of clothing (shirt), plus it allows to alert the physician at the same time there is an irregularity in the heartbeat.
Dr. Jose Gutierrez, who is part of the Department of Electronic Engineering of the institution, explained that the device sends real-time results to the specialist, since it has a wireless measurement system, that allows this from anywhere in the world. It also allows data storage for subsequent analysis.
One of the advantages of this new technology is that it is as small as the devices found in the market, which prevents the patient to have to carry a bulky device, because it has a friendly design for the user. The device developed at the ITM measures less than half of common devices, having a size of 20 x 20 centimeters.
The device enables the detection of eight different types of arrhythmias. Its design considers user safety as a primary factor. One of the challenges in the development of this device, explains Gutierrez, is expanding in the recharging of energy, plus it can be made even smaller than it currently is.
In addition, this technology can be used by people who currently have not been found to have a cardiovascular disease, which can help prevention and, where appropriate, early detection, essential to modify the development of this disease.
Moreover, the group of researchers at ITM have been working in both the software and the physical structure of a device that fits the patient’s body, which allows to detect heart rhythm through electrodes placed in a shirt.
The specialist explained that for the last 100 years measurement systems of electrocardiography have been developed and portable devices are available in the market that record heart activity over extended periods of time, ranging from three days to one week. However, given the high amount of data to analyze, both computer systems and specialists have trouble detecting an irregularity, especially when this is occasional.
For five years, this group of researchers has developed various measurement systems for both detection and signal processing. They are currently seeking to patent this device and to reach agreements with a company looking for marketing this product for social benefit.
This technology takes social importance, since cardiovascular disease is a common cause of mortality and morbidity in the world. In the Mexico these diseases are increasing due to widespread unhealthy eating habits with high content of saturated and trans fats, increased sodium intake, smoking and alcohol abuse and physical inactivity.
Gutiérrez Gnecchi and other researchers at ITM are also working on a device to determine if there is deafness in babies, and another for detecting breast cancer without the hassles of current mammography, where the breast is crushed by a machine.