Engineering 101

Belt Accurately Monitors Heart Failure 24/7

It might look more like a bulletin board, but this belt could save your life. The American Heart Association reports that 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 monitoring systems must be surgically implanted, making them costly and risky. There is a critical need for non-invasive solutions.

Researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science developed a prototype of a novel wearable device that continuously monitors for heart failure in real time. The mechanism uses sensors embedded in a lightweight belt worn around the waist to monitor thoracic impedance, electrocardiogram (ECG), heart rate, and motion activity detection. The study, published in Scientific Reports, covers testing the device in different conditions, including sitting, standing, lying down, and walking.

The researchers expect their technology to have higher predictive values for heart failure with increased specificity and high sensitivity. They are currently testing the module over a set of diverse subjects to develop an algorithm to predict heart failure over the test set.

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