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Wearable ECG Patch Revolutionizes Heart Monitoring For Millions

New ultra-light device offers continuous monitoring and improved comfort, potentially transforming cardiac healthcare.

A wearable ECG patch that could save the lives of millions of heart patients has been developed.

Having the heart monitor on their sleeves would enable them to keep an eye on vital health indicators around the clock, according to scientists.

A wearable ECG patch that could save the lives of millions of heart patients has been developed. LUAN REZENDE/PEXELS

They say the ultra-light state-of-the-art device, incorporating wireless technology, is a major improvement on previous wearable electrocardiograms (ECGs).

Nearly 200 million people around the world have coronary heart disease, which accounts for about one in every six deaths, according to the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Wearable ECGs save lives by detecting cardiovascular ailments and helping assess overall cardiac health.

Now, a team of researchers from Australia and India have advanced the technology by developing a wearable ECG patch for enhanced point-of-care diagnostics.

Study author Peter Elango said: “We did a deep dive into the world of wearable ECG devices.

“We focused on a critical aspect, how the design and materials of the electrodes impact their performance, and the findings were quite illuminating.”

He explained that Ag/AgCl electrodes – also known as “wet” electrodes – are typically used in devices to measure ECG signals and include a conductive gel to enhance electrical signaling.

However, they are known to be uncomfortable, irritating to the skin, and prone to drying out.

The new study, published in the journal Applied Physics Reviews, instead focused on the advantages of using active dry electrodes for ECG signaling and ultimately demonstrated an effective and promising prototype.

Elango, a PhD candidate at RMIT University in Australia, said: “Dry electrodes offer some significant advantages.

A wearable ECG patch that could save the lives of millions of heart patients has been developed. FRANCIS MATHEW ELANGO/SWNS

“They prioritize user comfort, remain durable over time, and reduce the likelihood of skin irritation.

“These attributes make them ideal for continuous monitoring, a crucial feature for wearable ECG devices.”

The research included considerations of how the performance of dry electrode sensors is affected by the contact area, conductivity, and stability of the electrical contact.

The team investigated various tight space geometry-based dry electrodes and also examined how different body parts influence ECG measurements.

After extensive experimentation, they created a compact, lightweight, gel-free hexagonal-shaped ECG patch which they say is “ideally suited” for point-of-care diagnostics.

The configuration was then integrated with wireless Bluetooth communication for remote sensing capabilities.

Elango said: “The potential applications are where it gets really exciting.

“These portable ECG patches could revolutionize remote and ambulatory healthcare, and perhaps even preventive medicine.”

He added: “They’re light, they can wirelessly transmit data, and they’re adept at discerning various states of rest or activity.

“Whether used in a clinical setting, seamlessly integrated into everyday attire, or worn as wearable devices, they could redefine how we monitor cardiac health.”

Produced in association with SWNS Talker

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