Smart health gadgets will soon have a bigger part to play in our lives, especially for health monitoring. It mainly started with fitness trackers, but now we are starting to see connected devices such as blood pressure monitors, including the upcoming watch like Omron HeartVue, thermometer, scales, vital sign monitoring systems, certified medical SBC‘s to allow engineers to developer their own medical applications, and even open source surgical robots.
HeartPatch is one of those medical board that specifically aims at measuring ECG data, and sent it over Bluetooth or WiFi thanks to Espressif ESP32 WiSoC.
- SoC – Espressif Systems ESP32 dual core Tensilica LX6 processor with Wi-Fi/Bluetooth
- ECG Chip – Maxim MAX30003 analog front-end
- USB – 1x micro USB connector for programming, data, power, and battery charging
- Debugging – USB-UART bridge based on CP2104
- Misc – Onboard Snap-on Buttons for disposable electrode pads, RGB LED,
- Battery – 450 mAH LiPo battery
- Dimensions – 65 mm x 42 mm x 4 mm without battery; Dimensions with Case: ~70 mm x 46 mm x 12.7 mm
The developers explain that HeartyPatch has several advantages over other low-price heart monitors:
- ECG-based R-R Interval Measurement is more accurate than optical heart-rate measurement
- Wide Dynamic Range for robust functioning during movement (not available in traditional ECG monitors)
- Mathematical and Machine Learning Algorithms for automatic detection of arrhythmia, stress, and several other physiological conditions (not available with regular heart-rate patches)
- Small, Wearable Form-factor with snap connectors for disposable, pre-gelled ECG electrodes.
- Open Source and Non-proprietary – can be used with any software or algorithm
HealthyPatch is fully open source hardware with all files available on Github. The current GUI can support three modes: beat-to-beat, Arrhythmia detection, and Heart-rate variability. If you have the required skills, you’d be able to add other modes to the user interface, or even roll your own. Note that ESP32 currently supports all BLE profiles, but the baseband works only in Bluetooth Classic mode. It will not affect the function, but battery life will be shorter than normal. Espressif Systems claims this will be fixed in the next release (SDK or Silicon?). If you want to follow the project’s progress over time, you may want to visit the Hackaday.io page.
HeartyPatch has just been launched on CrowdSupply, where you can get the basic kit with the board, a 450 mAh Li-Ion battery (soldered to the board), and a set of 10 disposable electrode pads with a $87 or more pledge. You can also add a case for $15, and shipping is free to the US, $15 to the rest of the world. Delivery is scheduled for December 14, 2017.