What are the advantages of using a wearable belt for monitoring the heart?
Asghar: The advantages of using a wearable belt over the existing solutions include: It does not require surgery to implant, unlike existing solutions which are ICD and CardioMEMS. It does not pose life-threatening risks involved with the surgical interventions of the existing implantable solutions. It is cheap in comparison to the existing solutions. According to the ICD registry, it costs around $37,000 for heart failure replacement surgery and similarly, it costs around $17,750 for CardioMEMS. However, the wearable belt is made up of shelf components and the most expensive component’s cost is around $39. The overall cost is within 2-digits.
How exactly does the technology in the wearable work?
Asghar: The wearable belt is embedded with multiple sensors and each sensor measures a parameter related to heart failure. These parameters include thoracic impedance, heart rate, electrocardiogram (ECG) and accelerometer for detecting motions of the patient. These signals are read using a microcontroller that processes the data and stores them on a SD card and in the cloud which can be monitored in real time by the medical practitioner. The data can also be visualized in the mobile application.
What kind of data do the sensors collect?
Asghar: The sensors collect thoracic impedance, the impedance of the thoracic region that usually decreases on the onset of the heart failure, electrocardiogram (ECG), heart rate and motion activity of the subject. According to the existing literature, these parameters are found to be significant in the diagnosis and monitoring of heart failure.