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Innovation on Cardiac Early Warning System“A Wearable Cardiogram” by Chang Gung University

 

Innovation on Cardiac Early Warning SystemA Wearable Cardiogram” by Chang Gung University

 

Distinguished Professor Ming-Yih Lee, Graduate Institute of Medical Mechatronics

 

Heart disease is ranked second in the top ten causes of death in Taiwan because heart attack often causes fatal danger. Most heart diseases occur without any early signs. Thus, it is only through long-term and continuous monitoring on one’s cardiac physiology that one could detect early warning in time and take preventive measures. However, the traditional ECG only measures heart beat and heart rate and has its limits in detecting heart attack. For instance, when a patient is having heart failure or heart valve abnormalities, their heart may stop beating but ECG may still show their heart rate. This condition of “Pulseless electrical activity” (PEA) or “Electromechanical dissociation” (EMD) indicates that ECG alone is not reliable to access patients’ cardiac pumping ability. Clinically, such patients often have to go through ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging to precisely diagnose abnormal heart pumping or valve opening and closing. However, these machines are too expensive to be used as household items. Therefore, developing an early warning system that can be used at home to constantly monitor the electrophysiological and mechanical abnormalities of heart attack has become a crucial issue to be solved in taking care of elderly patients with heart disease.

 

A Chang Gung University research team has successfully developed a non-invasive and wearable mobile early warning system with the incorporation of Mechanocardiogram (MCG) to instantly detect any signs of heart attack. In addition to the proposed physiological function of MCG in identifying left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) physio-markers and the algorithm of estimating the risk of heart attack instantly, the wearable feature was applied to this product and is undergoing clinical verification by Chang Gung Memorial Hospital. The main members of the research and development team consist of Distinguished Professor Ming-Yih Lee, director of the Graduate Institute of Medical Mechatronics of Chang Gung University, Assistant Professor Wen-Yen Lin of the Department of Electrical Engineering, Associate Professor Tsai-Hsuan Tsai of the Department of Industrial Design, Associate Professor Chung-Chih Lin of the Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, Dr. Po-Cheng Chang from the Department of Cardiology in Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and many others. The unique feature of this technology is the instant measurement of heart rate and blood-pumping rate using cardioembolism (MCG) (heart beat mechanical response) and electrocardiogram (ECG electrophysiologiacal response) to diagnose the weakness of heart beat, insufficient blood-pumping, abnormal valve opening and closing and acute heart disease symptoms to resolve problems that ECG alone cannot determine during heart attack, such as heart failure or valvular heart disease. At the same time, it can be used at home, where patients can carry it to detect early symptoms of heart disease anytime and anywhere. Providing early warnings is not only a pioneer in the development of cardiac electrical and mechanical physiology, but it is also a breakthrough in wearable health monitoring and early warning products.

The research team has won the honour of the 14th National Innovation Award and the Best Industry Efficiency Award organized by the Institute for Biotechnology and Medical Industry last year (2017). This is the highest honour of R&D in the innovative technology and product in the biotechnology industry in Taiwan. The close cooperation between Chang Gung University and Chang Gung Memorial Hospital has set a new milestone and breakthrough in developing a new-style, personalized mobile treatment and early warning system for heart attack. Besides, this technology has been evaluated by Impact Research in the United Kingdom as a technology with great potential in impacting the global healthcare industry in 2017 and is featured in the impact research handbook, recommended to 35,000 academic institutions, research institutions, hospitals and venture capital organizations worldwide.

 

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