There are approximately 64 million cases of heart failure worldwide. According to the American Heart Association, 6.2 million adults in the United States have heart failure and that number is estimated to increase to 8 million by 2030. Heart failure is a progressive clinical syndrome characterized by a structural abnormality of the heart in which the heart does not is able to pump enough blood to meet the body’s requirements.
Two heart failure monitoring systems are currently available. However, they are costly and pose risks because they are surgically implanted under the skin. In addition, about half of heart failure patients do not need an implantable device or are not eligible for the thoracic (area between the neck and abdomen) monitoring these devices provide. There is a critical need for non-invasive solutions to monitor the progression of heart failure 24 hours a day.
Researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science, in collaboration with the FAU’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, have developed a prototype of a new wearable device that can continuously monitor all physiological parameters related to heart failure in real time. to guard.
The technology is based on sensors embedded in a lightweight belt conveniently worn around the waist to monitor thoracic impedance, electrocardiogram (ECG), heart rate, and motion activity detection. The system uses several sensors to measure these parameters. Thoracic impedance is a crucial biosignal to monitor the progression of heart failure. Likewise, ECG is an essential biosignal to diagnose and predict cardiovascular disease. ECG measures electrical signals through the heart using a Holter monitor, which is not suitable for point-of-care use.
For the study, published in Scientific Reports, researchers tested the wearable device under a variety of conditions, including sitting, standing, lying down and walking. For each condition, results were obtained sequentially for each of the sensors. The selected physiological parameters are significant in determining heart failure symptoms.
Findings showed that all sensors tracked the changes for all different conditions. The position sensor correctly marked the position change in different conditions and could be used to identify different states of the device wearer. In addition, the heart rate sensor continuously monitored the heart rate. Importantly, the device correctly flagged minute changes in thoracic impedance.
Like most ECG monitors, the ECG sensor in the wearable device was very sensitive to movement, especially when walking. But even while walking, the ECG sensor retained its QRS complex (the electrical impulse as it propagates through the ventricles of the heart) along with R spikes (QRS complex intervals), which are key indicators of left ventricular hypertrophy, indicative of an increase in the size of myocardial fibers in the main pumping chamber of the heart.
“All of the sensors that we integrated into our belt module can be worn easily for a long period of time without interfering with the patient’s daily activities,” said Waseem Asghar, Ph.D., senior author and associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the FAU. and computer science. “Importantly, continuous and real-time monitoring of heart failure symptoms can alert patients and their caregivers to the patient’s declining health. In turn, health care providers can intervene with medications to prevent the patient’s hospitalization.”
The researchers expect their technology to have higher predictive values for heart failure with increased specificity and high sensitivity.
“About 1 in 4 patients with heart failure is readmitted within 30 days of hospital discharge, and about half are readmitted within six months,” said Mary Ann Leavitt, Ph.D., co-author and assistant professor in FAU’s Christine E Lynn College of Nursing. “Wearable healthcare devices, such as the prototype we developed, have the potential to reduce hospitalizations in a cost-effective way that is also safe and convenient for the wearer.”
Based on the study results, the researchers are currently testing the module on a range of diverse subjects to develop an algorithm to predict heart failure across the test set.
“This wearable device to monitor heart failure is my most important project in Dr. Asghar’s Micro and Nanotechnology Lab in Medicine, which has important social implications for the fastest growing cardiovascular disease in the US,” said Sheikh Muhammad Asher Iqbal, first author, a research assistant and a Ph.D. student in FAU’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. “We are developing a non-invasive solution that can be used by all heart failure patients for better treatment, diagnosis and prognosis that can serve the masses.”
Study co-authors are Imadeldin Mahgoub, Ph.D., Tecore Professor; and Sarah E. Du, Ph.D., an associate professor, both in FAU’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
This research was supported by FAU’s Institute for Sensing and Embedded Network Systems Engineering (I-SENSE) and FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science.
Material supplied by Atlantic University of Florida. Originally written by Gisele Galoustian. Note: Content is editable for style and length.