Micro:bit wearable heart monitor prototype

What?

The micro:bit wearable electrocardiogram

Where?

Bangalore, India

Who?

Members of the Mbed Hobby Club at Arm Bangalore

The lowdown

In 2014 alone, 5 million Indians suffered a heart attack. Patients who receive attention within the first two hours have a survival rate of over 80%, but in India the average time for receiving treatment is over six hours.

To tackle this problem, coding enthusiasts Saurov and Khushnuma created a low-cost, user-friendly wearable heart monitor using the micro:bit and an analog electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor. The device provides essential data that, once analyzed, can give doctors a meaningful picture of patients' heart health.

“Irregular heartbeats can be an indication of poor heart health,” said Saurov, “but because they often come and go, it can be hard to get an accurate record while the patient is with a doctor.”

“Since the ECG is lightweight it can be worn long-term, while the patient goes about their daily life, and can be used to detect a range of transient symptoms.”

“The micro:bit plays pivotal role: it is the master microcontroller that reads analog signals from the ECG sensor and converts them into a digital format. After performing noise reduction, it then transfers the ECG reading to a mobile gateway, such as a smartphone, via Bluetooth Low Energy.”

Although their invention is still at the prototype stage, Saurov and Khushnuma have great plans for the future.

“Ultimately, we hope to team up with voluntary organizations to deploy the heart monitor throughout remote, rural areas to improve diagnostics and help patients get the help they need quickly and efficiently, before their health becomes a problem.”