Irregular life style such as lack of physical exercise, overeating, and excessive drinking leads to a heart disease. Actually, it is the worldwide largest killer and claims over 10 millions of lives a year. Among them, failure of the proper blood circulation by a blockage due to a build-up of fatty deposits accumulated on the inner walls of blood vessels dominantly occurs. Since it is a chronic process, the heart attack may be the first warning. In such circumstance, a noninvasive preventive measure of exact pumping capacity of the heart and abnormal patterns of the blood flow is essential. However, wearable ECG monitoring provides insufficient information because detailed expansion and contraction of the blood vessel require monitoring the heart of mechanics rather than the heart of electricity.
In the smart poultice (SP) project, we propose a wearable health care monitoring system that can measure thoracic impedance variation (TIV) from the change of aortic blood volume and velocity change at each cardiac cycle. Combined with ECG signals from multi points at the thorax, it enables a preemptive medicine by noninvasively providing important hemodynamic information such cardiac output and heart rate in daily life.
It can reconfigure 25-electrode array at 16 different sites across the heart and optimize them in-situ to automatically consider the user dependency of the TIV/ECG signals. Benefits from the proposed SP, patient who suffers from hypertension or heart failure can take prophylactic measurement on abnormal symptoms of the heart and even give the patient or doctor warning to avoid an unexpected accident.