ECGs: Bluetooth T-shirt vs. implantable device

By Brian Dolan
06:13 am
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Two Bluetooth powered cardiac monitoring devices made news today--and their approaches couldn't be further from each other. Also of note: Bluetooth is the wireless standard the Continua Alliance is working to make standard for wireless health devices.

Vital Jacket: Vibrating T-Shirt monitors ECG

vitaljacketChile-based BioDevices has been featured in a number of places this week for its Vital Jacket product: a wearable vital-signs monitoring system that uses microelectronics embedded into a T-shirt to continuously monitor heart rate and electrocardiogram (ECG) waves. The Vital Jacket is supposed to be a "functional approach" for those whose hearts' need monitoring whether for fitness, high performance sports, security or medical applications. The company describes other solutions as "bulky, inconvenient and not always practical for everyday use." 

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The ECG T-shirt has two models: the HWM100, which stores data on a SD memory card and the HWM200, which sends info over Bluetooth to a nearby PDA or mobile phone. Next up? A version that sends data to medical professionals 24 hours a day over a wireless LAN.

Interesting touch: Vital Jacket users can set parameters to receive alerts when heart rate limits are breached. The alert is a vibration alarm embedded in the T-Shirt.

AngelMed Guardian: Implantable monitor for ST changes in ECG

AngelMedShrewsbury, New Jersey-based Angel Medical Systems just began a Phase II clinical trial of its AngelMed Guardian implantable cardiac telemetry system. The offering includes an implantable monitor, with a lead stretching into the heart, that watches for ST changes in the ECG electrical signal. AngelMed communicates via Bluetooth with a pager-like device worn by the patient that signals for when it predicts a possible MI onset.

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