Medical grade ECG/EKG monitoring for consumer wearables

July 22, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Medical grade ECG/EKG monitoring for consumer wearables
B-secur, TI team for medical grade heart monitoring hardware and software in consumer wearable designs

B-Secur in the UK has developed a heart sensor that bring medical grade monitoring to consumer wearable designs

The electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG) design is based on the Texas Instruments (TI) AFE4950 analogue front end (AFE) for photoplethysmography (PPG) and EKG/ECG sensing that will accelerate the design of next-generation consumer wearables.

This is the first with a fully integrated EKG/ECG and PPG signal chain that allows for synchronous sampling of cardiac activity with dry electrodes used in battery-operated products says TI.

The design is aimed at wearable devices like premium smartwatches and Wi-Fi-connected optical heart-rate monitors, and enables advanced features for identification, wellness and health monitoring in Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the biggest cause of death globally with an estimated 17.9 million people dying from the disease each year, 31 percent of all global deaths. As a result, wearable equipment designers have been pushed to improve the quality of their sensing. The collaboration is part of B-Secur’s drive to speed up the development and adoption of high-performance biosensing solutions by device manufacturers worldwide.

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It follows clearance by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for B-Secur’s HeartKey ECG/EKG software. This is a suite of powerful ECG/EKG algorithms that combine user identification, health, and wellness monitoring to generate accurate data encrypted through the user’s unique heartbeat.

The combination of HeartKey and the AFE4950 enables device manufacturers and partners around the world to eliminate months of R&D with a fully integrated sensor, electrical and signal processing solution.

 “It is a key strategic development for B-Secur to announce this integration with Texas Instruments and our FDA-cleared HeartKey software today,” said Ben Carter, Chief Commercial Officer at B-Secur, based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. “As more and more wearable and IoT devices adopt ECG/EKG technology, supplying a fully integrated, high-performance solution with Texas Instruments means our customers around the world can bring their own consumer wearable products to market quicker and with greater confidence.”

 Karthik Soundarapandian, product line manager for medical imaging at TI, said: “The trend in consumer electronics is to add more health monitoring into smartwatches and other wearables. This, in combination with a patient’s medical history, can help health professionals with early detection and prevention of disease. The precision signal quality from the AFE4950-based hardware, combined with B-Secur’s algorithms, will help wearables manufacturers design solutions that make clinical-quality monitoring more accessible to a wider population.”

www.ti.com; www.b-secur.com

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