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      Wearable cardiac health monitoring and early warning system



      Science Impact, Ltd.

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          According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) accounted for 17.7 million deaths in 2015, more than any other single disease and 31 percent of all deaths among the global population. However, many of these deaths could be prevented if we could detect the intermittent abnormalities and critical cardiac behaviours that lead to sudden death. The WHO notes that CVDs place a huge economic burden on all countries, particularly as they most often strike lower income populations who have the least access to reliable health monitoring facilities and are therefore often only detected when their disease is in the advanced stages. The earlier the risk factors for CVDs can be recognised, the more likely interventions will have successful outcomes, such that the individual can lead a normal, productive life.In response to the global challenge posed by CVDs, a 15-strong research team, led by Professor Ming-Yih Lee, Director of the Medical Mechatronics Research Laboratory at Chang Gung University, Taiwan, is aiming to produce a low cost, wearable cardiac health monitoring and early warning system, which can be used to continuously monitor at risk individuals and so provide an early warning of developing heart problems. Traditional monitoring techniques for cardiac timing events require expensive technology and can only be used by professional experts in a hospital environment. Diagnostic tools include echocardiagram, computerised tomography scans, magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear myocardial perfusion scans. This means regular cardiac health monitoring is largely out of the reach of remotely located populations. Also the cost of undertaking frequent heart checks on at-risk population groups is prohibitive even for wealthy nations. This article examines the team?s solution with the development of a smart wearable garment which can be comfortably worn by and tailored for any individual, into which are woven a number of tiny sensors which can detect electrocardiagraph and seismographic information of the heart from multiple locations. By combining multiple-channel seismocardiogram (SCG) readings and electrocardiogram (ECG) data, the smart wearable garment system can detected overall cardiac mechano-electrical behaviors over time. This system is also paired with a smartphone application, which will provide warning signals at different levels of severity, along with applicable advice to the user. If this cardiac health early warning system can be made comparatively inexpensive, it has enormous potential to limit the premature deaths and economic burden of CVD on a global front.

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          Author and article information

          Science Impact, Ltd.
          October 20 2017
          October 20 2017
          : 2017
          : 8
          : 55-57
          © 2017

          This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

          Earth & Environmental sciences, Medicine, Computer science, Agriculture, Engineering


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