A wearable device for real-time monitoring of heart failure patients

Alberto Olmo


    Alberto Olmo


    Universidad de Sevilla, Spain


    Heart failure is today the leading cause of hospitalisation of people over 65 years of age in Europe. In fact, it accounts for 3 % of all hospital admissions and 2.5 % of total healthcare costs. The condition is characterised by symptoms arising from abnormalities in heart structure and function, as well as decompensations which, when they occur, mean that the heart cannot pump blood, which accumulates in the lungs and vascular system, and can lead to death.

    At present, standard assessment of the condition does not reliably predict the onset of decompensation. On the other hand, the electrical impedance of biological materials (BI), used for the characterisation of cells, tissues and organs, among other things, does represent an excellent marker for medical diagnosis. However, devices for measuring BI are heavy and do not allow continuous monitoring of the patient's prognosis. Some approximations to develop portable devices have been made, but these are still not comfortable enough for the patient, and involve wires and high energy consumption.

    To address this challenge, the researchers have developed a wearable device, light and with low energy consumption, capable of monitoring the patient's condition in real time and sending data via wi-fi to a smartphone or a computer. The device makes it possible to predict the evolution of the disorder by measuring the electrical impedance of biological materials. It even makes it possible to predict clinical outcomes early in patients with acute heart failure.