New technology allows ECG monitoring without electrodes
Significant progress has been made in wireless ECG monitoring by the Hefei Comprehensive National Science Center – located in Hefei, capital of East China's Anhui province.
A patient undergoes real-time ECG monitoring, using millimeter wave radar. [Photo by University of Science and Technology of China]
The center has achieved non-contact real-time monitoring of human electrocardiograms or ECGs based on millimeter wave radar. This has broken through the limitations of conventional ECGs, which can only be obtained through contact sensors.
The findings were published in IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, a bimonthly peer-reviewed scientific journal covering technology related to the mobility of users, systems, data and computing.
"With the new method, the subjects do not need to wear electrodes and do not need to remove clothing and the ECG monitoring is completed in a contactless manner," said the research team leader.
Compared with conventional ECGs, non-contact ECGs are said to have achieved a monitoring performance with a median time accuracy of less than 14 milliseconds and a median morphological accuracy of greater than 90 percent.
In addition, the results of this method support the stable monitoring of heartbeat intervals – a key indicator in the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease – with an error of less than 9 milliseconds.
Currently, the research team is working with various hospitals. Once the technology is clinically approved, it is expected to provide important help for the daily monitoring and diagnosis of arrhythmia, myocardial infarction and other diseases.