They designed a device that alerts by sms if detected a heart problem

20 10 2011

A group of researchers of the Polytechnic University of Lausanne (EPFL, by its initials in French), in Switzerland, It has designed a small device that attaches to the body and detects abnormalities in the heart rate in real time, whereupon send a text message to the patient and one to your doctor warning of the situation.

The Wireless Body Sensor Network (WBSN) It is a system that constantly monitors the patient's heart and is associated with your mobile phone. "What it does is receive the electrocardiogram information and analyze it in" real time, so if there is some kind of pathology, or hint of pathology, send this information to the mobile, where is shown graphically so the patient can see what is happening. And at the same time it is able to send a message - an sms or an e-mail- "a doctor", explains David Atienza, leader of the team that developed the device.

The appliance, that you can carry in your Pocket (It measures three centimeters high by three of width and thickness), It receives the signals sent by three electrodes attached to the body. What is new on similar devices is that this "is capable of" interpret "the data collected and alert when something goes outside the normal parameters", while others only collect information which is subsequently analyzed.

The system would thus eliminate at least four steps: take a turn to do an electrocardiogram, keep the appointment at the hospital, remove the results and take them to the cardiologist. "The doctor what you" saves is very much expense at hospital level, because it is not necessary for the patient to go to the hospital, or it is going every few minutes, "since the system information sent to the doctor when really detect something", points Atienza.

It is basically intended for chronic cardiac patients, to who the system practised them very specific analysis defined by the specialist (that "it's always who makes the final decision"). You can use all day (even at night) and does not affect normal activities, Since is light and non-invasive. Nor should we be aware of the battery: It has an energy autonomy of about three weeks.

"That proposed is to slightly change the way to deal with this type of diseases that are usually very focused on which the patient go to the hospital", with all the additional cost. This would be a system that is capable of directly working at home "and it is customized for each patient", drew Atienza, an engineer in computer science and electronics that came from Madrid to the EPFL in 2008 and was head of the team of 12 researchers who designed the WSBN. The research was, In addition, with collaboration and supervision of medical advisors.

The prototype already It has been tested with success in 20 patients with heart problems and in some 100 more people. Although "was not intended for a commercial purpose", There are four companies that are interested in producing it and market it. The University is negotiating with them "to see how it would be used", "in what context and under what conditions".

Atienza estimated its market value would be lower to the 100 euros and the validation process that enables its output to the market would take four to five months. [en línea] Buenos Aires (Argentina):, 20 October 2011[REF. 19 October of 2011] Available on Internet: