Intelligent monitoring for heart patients

Intelligent monitoring for heart patients

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Within a year, a group of Spanish researchers are planning to market a remote cardiac monitoring system that has the potential to revolutionise healthcare for people with heart problems, granting them greater independence, peace of mind and quality of life.

The system, developed over two years by the IST programme project CardioSmart, will allow patients to “have a doctor by their side 24 hours a day” whether they are at home, in the street or even in another country, according to scientific coordinator José Manuel Quero at the University of Seville Engineering School in Spain.

Using GPRS wireless technology and a small personal terminal connected to cardiac sensors, the CardioSmart system continuously monitors a patient’s heart rate and will automatically alert their doctor in the event of a problem, while the incorporation of GPS information allows emergency services to locate the patient. For patients, the system offers peace of mind and increased independence, avoiding the need for them to visit their doctor on a regular basis or remain hospitalised. It is also cost-effective, promising potentially large savings for Europe’s public health systems, said Quero.

In order to bring a commercial product to market, the project partners are planning clinical trials this year to ensure the system complies with European healthcare legislation. They are also looking to begin negotiations with a mobile service provider, Quero said.