Bi-Modal Transducer-based Wearable System for Cardiac Monitoring

A. Lanatà, E.P. Scilingo, R. Francesconi, and D. De Rossi (Italy)


Sounds and ultrasounds, vital signs, wearable systems.


This paper reports investigation on bi-modal piezoelectric transducer used both as an active ultrasound transceiver and passive acoustic sensor. [1]The transducer, which should have a low Q factor in order to exhibit a sufficiently broad bandwidth, is placed, along with ECG fabric electrodes, within a textile belt wrapped around the chest. [2]In addition to ECG signals the wearable system is able to generate ultrasound signals which can bounce off the target organ, the heart, and receive the back propagated echoes. From the time delay of the echoes the movements of the organ can be inferred, hence the mechanical activity of the heart. Moreover, the same transducer is used at low frequencies to detect cardiac sounds, from which the heart beat and the respiratory signal can be extracted. This information, in addition to ECG signals, can provide helpful cues for the cardiac status of the subject, both in terms of prevention and diagnosis. Although much work has to be done to make it available to the patient, preliminary experimental results showed satisfactory performance of the system.

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