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Smart Heart – A cardiac monitor necklace


The Smart Heart is a wearable cardiac monitor necklace with the capacity to collect, store and remotely transmit cardiac data collected over an extended period for analysis by medical professionals. The neckpiece is aimed at patients who have recently suffered a heart attack or who are experiencing heart rhythm problems and aims to replace the bulky cardiac holter monitor with something that is more integrated into people's daily lives.

The Smart Heart was a 19-month development project that coalesced a team of electronic engineers, weavers, designers, health experts and 3D modelers to develop a long-wear cardiac monitoring device. The aim of the project was to develop a wearable cardiac monitor necklace with the capacity to collect, store and remotely transmit cardiac data collected over an extended period for analysis by medical professionals. The wearable device would also store the patient’s emergency contact information and medical history, so that in the event of a heart attack, emergency staff could easily access contact details, medical history, and recent heart waveforms. The necklace is aimed at patients who have recently suffered a heart attack or who are experiencing heart rhythm problems and who would typically be fitted with a Holter monitor or similar device.

The Smart Heart necklace is focused on longer term monitoring in a non-invasive way and its aesthetic design is intentionally non-medical. The outcome is a necklace that is attractive and comfortable, with few indicators of its technological capability.

Current Holter monitors typically comprise small recorders worn on a sling or belt that can continuously collect data over a 24 to 48 hour period from two or three ECG leads attached to the chest. Stored data are downloaded and analysed when the monitor is returned.

Conversely, the Smart Heart necklace is designed for longer wear – from one to three weeks. We envisage that the user would wear the necklace for 10-14 hours throughout the day and take it off at night for battery recharging and data download. The objective is to capture cardiac events that occur outside the usual monitoring window that might otherwise have been missed, although this has to be weighed against the additional uncertainty of the actual monitoring process. The process also opens up the possibility of screening for other illnesses.

Leah Heiss Projects
Citation in the proceedings of the 2016 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (Pages 691-699)

Chief Investigators
Associate Professor Paul Beckett, Associate Professor Keely Macarow, Leah Heiss
Research Collaborators
Electronics team (SECE): Hayden Dekker, Mohamed Salih
Weaving team (F+T): Amy Carr-Bottomley, Rebecca Archer, Jessie Kenny, Nicola Wong
3D modelling: Dustin Bailey
Industry Partners
St. Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and the Nossal Institute for Global Health, funded by Gandel Philanthropy.
Details
Date: 2015-2016
Details
Status: Completed to functioning prototype phase