Fast cardiovascular condition assessment

Summary of the technology

An easy-to-use and affordable system able to determine several cardiovascular parameters from unsupervised measurements easily obtained at hands or feet.

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC

The Challenge

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death yet plenty of patients remain undiagnosed until acute stages of the disease. Population screenings with existing equipment are unaffordable hence there is a need for comfortable easy-to-use devices intended for personal periodic monitoring of cardiovascular monitoring that do not interfere with daily routines and can be used anywhere.

The Technology

The hands and the feet are very convenient interfaces for cardiovascular measurements and have long been used to obtain the heart rate and the ECG by establishing a contact with a conductive electrode on each hand. Further, volumetric changes that result from the arrival of the blood pulse to different arteries of the body can be detected from the changes in electrical impedance measured between both hands through the so-called impedance plethysmogram (IPG). We have designed a measurement system able to simultaneously obtain the ECG and the IPG by using only four conductive contacts, which can be for example two contacts with two different fingers of each hand, or two contacts with fingers in one hand and two contacts with two points on the opposite wrist. Time intervals between different features of the ECG and the IPG yield the Pulse Arrival Time (PAT), which can be used to assess autonomic nervous system activation and changes in blood pressure, and the Pre-Ejection Period (PEP), which can be used to assess myocardial contractility, sympathetic activity or to diagnose certain cardiovascular diseases from abnormal durations. Furthermore, an extra sensor at the hands or the feet, such as a PPG system, an additional IPG measurement using the same electrodes, or a BCG obtained from a weighing scale, allows us to obtain the Pulse Transit Time (PTT) and evaluate arterial stiffness, which can be related to factors such as ageing, hypertension, and risk of cardiovascular events.

Current stage of development

A laboratory sensor prototype is available.

Applications and Target Market

Health promotion programs, groups screening, primary care centers, community health centers, personal health care, physical activity monitoring, remote physiological monitoring, home health care, drug testing, drug dose adjustment, fitness, m-health, e-health, emergency medical technicians, first responders, rescue workers, retirement and nursing homes, sports medicine, labor medicine, fitness centers, hotels and spas, smart watches, wristbands, or TV remote controls.

Innovative advantages

· No gel or cream, nor contacts with the thorax or any body part other than the hands or the feet are required.
No auxiliary personnel are required to apply it.
Provides information about both the heart and the major blood vessels and in a short time.
Can be adapted to any wireless technology.

Intellectual property status

  • Granted Patent
  • Patent application number :-

Related Keywords

  • Electronics, IT and Telecomms
  • Applications for Health
  • Medicine, Human Health
  • Health information management
  • Remote diagnostics
  • Pharmaceutical Products / Drugs
  • E-Health
  • Cardiology
  • Medical/health
  • Other Medical/Health Related
  • Medical Health related
  • Diagnostic
  • Diagnostic services
  • Clinical Medicine
  • Medical equipment
  • Welfare technologies

About Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC

The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - BarcelonaTech is a public institution dedicated to higher education and research in the fields of engineering, architecture and science, which contributes its knowledge and expertise in order to increase scientific output, transfer its results to society and provide a network of scientific and technical state-of-the-art facilities and technology valorization services that place us at the leading edge of innovation and economic development.

The UPC has established itself as a driver of innovation and is the technology partner of choice for companies and organizations with which it develops projects and builds partnerships. A role borne out by the numerous agreements and research projects that have been set in motion by groups, organizations and laboratories; the creation of new technology-based companies; the generation and exploitation of patents, and the scientific and technical services UPC makes available to its environment in order to generate progress and employment.

The Technology Transfer Office (SGI) is responsible of Designing, coordinating and implementing research valorisation strategies, carrying out the protection policy of the research results, marketing these results through license contracts and designing and setting up the University's enterprise creation model in order to transfer the results of the research to the market, protect and commercialize these results, promote the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, and create technology-based companies within the UPC environment.

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC

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