A Sneak Peek Into Digital Innovations and Wearable Sensors for Cardiac Monitoring

J Clin Monit Comput. 2017 Apr;31(2):253-259. doi: 10.1007/s10877-016-9925-6. Epub 2016 Aug 26.


Many mobile phone or tablet applications have been designed to control cardiovascular risk factors (obesity, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, diabetes and hypertension) or to optimize treatment adherence. Some have been shown to be useful but the long-term benefits remain to be demonstrated. Digital stethoscopes make easier the interpretation of abnormal heart sounds, and the development of pocket-sized echo machines may quickly and significantly expand the use of ultrasounds. Daily home monitoring of pulmonary artery pressures with wireless implantable sensors has been shown to be associated with a significant decrease in hospital readmissions for heart failure. There are more and more non-invasive, wireless, and wearable sensors designed to monitor heart rate, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, arterial oxygen saturation, and thoracic fluid content. They have the potential to change the way we monitor and treat patients with cardiovascular diseases in the hospital and beyond. Some may have the ability to improve quality of care, decrease the number of medical visits and hospitalization, and ultimately health care costs. Validation and outcome studies are needed to clarify, among the growing number of digital innovations and wearable sensors, which tools have real clinical value.

Keywords: Cardiac monitoring; Digital health; Echocardiography; Implantable sensor; Mobile health; Stethoscope; Wearable sensor.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory
  • Cardiology / instrumentation*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Clothing
  • Computers, Handheld
  • Echocardiography
  • Equipment Design
  • Heart Failure
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / instrumentation*
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / methods
  • Pulmonary Artery
  • Risk Factors
  • Smartphone
  • Stethoscopes
  • Wireless Technology