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Highly integrated ultra-low-power SoC solution for unobtrusive and energy-efficient wireless cardiac monitoring

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New chip for tele-healthcare

A complete system-on-a-chip (SoC) has been developed for processing signals and algorithms associated with cardiac monitoring. The new technology targets a valuable market by developing novel cardio-monitoring products for use in home and professional environments.

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Developing personalised cardio-monitoring tools requires a major technological breakthrough in the area of integrated sensing/processing solutions on a single chip platform. The goal of the EU-funded 21-month (ICYHEART) project was to deliver a miniature microelectronics SoC with an embedded signal processing suite to enable low-power wireless electrocardiogram monitoring. At the outset, user requirements were outlined and potential market areas identified such as chronic primary and secondary care, occupational healthcare, sports medicine and maternity services. Then the partners of ICYHEART successfully designed and developed a low-power integrated sensor interface test chip. Software for the embedded processor was developed to acquire and transmit the monitor data to a computer where they can be graphically displayed. In parallel, software enabling wireless communication with the monitoring device was also developed. This early software development and its incorporation in the chip enabled the partners to optimise usage of computing and memory resources. %In the second year of the project, partners carried out the testing of the ICYHEART prototype with the intention of enabling the collection and initial analysis of physiological data from body-worn sensors as well as wireless data transfer to a monitoring device. On completion of the ICYHEART project the goal of delivering a miniature integrated microelectronics SoC, and its assorted embedded signal processing suite, that will enable wireless electrocardiogram monitoring in tele-healthcare had been achieved.

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