During the last decades there has been a rapidly growing elderly population and the number of patients with chronic heart-related diseases has exploded. Many of them (such as those with congestive heart failure or some types of arrhythmias) require close medical supervision, thus imposing a big burden on healthcare costs in most western economies. Specifically, continuous or frequent Arterial Blood Pressure (ABP) and electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring are important tools in the follow-up of many of these patients. In this work, we present a novel remote non-ambulatory and clinically validated heart self-monitoring system, which allows ABP and ECG monitoring to effectively identify clinically relevant arrhythmias. The system integrates digital transmission of the ECG and tensiometer measurements, within a patient-comfortable support, easy to recharge and with a multi-function software, all of them aiming to adapt for elderly people. The main novelty is that both physiological variables (ABP and ECG) are simultaneously measured in an ambulatory environment, which to our best knowledge is not readily available in the clinical market. Different processing techniques were implemented to analyze the heart rhythm, including pause detection, rhythm alterations and atrial fibrillation, hence allowing early detection of these diseases. Our results achieved clinical quality both for in-lab hardware testing and for ambulatory scenario validations. The proposed active assisted living (AAL) Sensor-based system is an end-to-end multidisciplinary system, fully connected to a platform and tested by the clinical team from beginning to end.
Keywords: ECG; QRS detector; arterial blood pressure; atrial fibrillation detector; e-health; portability; sensors.