Monitoring your health with your mobile phone

October 5, 2010
ECG signals wirelessly transmitted to an Android mobile phone via a low-power interface.

Belgian Imec, together with TASS software professionals have developed a mobile heart monitoring system that allows to view your electrocardiogram on an Android mobile phone.

The innovation is a low-power interface that transmits signals from a wireless ECG ( or heart monitoring)-sensor system to an android . With this interface, imec, Holst Centre and TASS are the first to demonstrate a complete Body Area Network (BAN) connected to a mobile phone enabling reliable long-term ambulatory monitoring of various health parameters such as cardiac performance (ECG), (EEG), (EMG), etc. The system will be demonstrated at the Wireless Health Conference in San Diego (US, October 5-7).

The aging population, combined with the increasing need for care and the rising costs of healthcare has become a challenge for our society. Mobile health, which integrates mobile computing technologies with healthcare delivery systems, will play a crucial role in solving this problem by delivering a more comfortable, more efficient and more cost-efficient healthcare.

Body Area Networks (BAN) are an essential component of mHealth. BANs are miniaturized ; consisting of lightweight, ultra low-power, nodes which continuously monitor physical and vital parameters. They provide long-term monitoring, while maintaining user mobility and comfort. For example patients who are no longer compelled to stay in a hospital could be monitored at home.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

The newly-developed low-power interface wirelessly transmits bio-signals retrieved by imec and Holst Centre’s Human++ BAN to an Android mobile phone where the data are collected, stored, processed, and sent over the internet to make them available for authorized users such as a physician. The interface is based on a standard Secure Digital Input Output (SDIO) interface on Android mobile phones, enabling the integration of all the features available on Google’s operating system (SMS, e-mail and data transmission over the internet, GPS to track user location).

Moreover, the mobile phone’s hardware is extended to operate with low-power communication protocols and low-power radios, enabling long-term medical telemonitoring. As the interface is based on the Linux kernel, the system is also easily portable on other Linux-based devices, such as PDA’s or laptops. And, the system allows configuration of thresholds on the measured parameters and automatic sending of alerts such as SMS messages and e-mails based on these values.

Explore further: IMEC breakthrough shrinks wireless bioelectronic communications system into a 1 cm³ system-in-a-cube

Related Stories

T-Mobile plans Android-based home devices: Times

April 6, 2009

US wireless carrier T-Mobile plans to make a push into the home with communications devices that will run on Google's Android open-source software, The New York Times reported on Monday.

Wireless sensor systems enable a better sleep

September 2, 2009

Today, at IEEE EMB Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA), IMEC and its research affiliate Holst Centre present the clinical validation of a wireless sleep staging system.

Imec achieves breakthrough in battery-less radios

February 9, 2010

At today's International Solid State Circuit Conference, Imec and Holst Centre report a 2.4GHz/915MHz wake-up receiver which consumes only 51µW power. This record low power achievement opens the door to battery-less or energy-harvesting ...

Recommended for you

Roboticists learn to teach robots from babies

December 1, 2015

Babies learn about the world by exploring how their bodies move in space, grabbing toys, pushing things off tables and by watching and imitating what adults are doing.

Xbox gaming technology may improve X-ray precision

December 1, 2015

With the aim of producing high-quality X-rays with minimal radiation exposure, particularly in children, researchers have developed a new approach to imaging patients. Surprisingly, the new technology isn't a high-tech, high-dollar ...

Making 3-D imaging 1,000 times better

December 1, 2015

MIT researchers have shown that by exploiting the polarization of light—the physical phenomenon behind polarized sunglasses and most 3-D movie systems—they can increase the resolution of conventional 3-D imaging devices ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.