App turns smartphone into ECG recorder and transmitter

21 June 2013

A researcher at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed an app that enables a smart phone to record data wirelessly from a small ECG device worn round the chest. It allows patients to take an electrocardiogram (ECG) in the comfort of their own homes.

The device allows patients suffering from heart problems to begin recording their ECG as soon as symptoms appear and to send the results via the smartphone to their doctor via email or the internet. The objective is to launch the device within a year.

The app, called Beat2Phone, is an application developed for Android phones that can be used to measure and save an ECG and to perform an extensive analysis of the data. The device also enables an advanced heart rate analysis, and GPS-based speed and distance measurements.

The ECG device worn round the chestThe app displayed on a smartphone
The ECG device and the app displayed on a smart phone

The device can also be used to detect the symptoms of burnout resulting from work-related stress. With further development, the researcher says, the device can be adapted to monitoring the sleep patterns of patients suffering from sleep apnea and to warn them of imminent attacks. It has potential in preventing certain musculoskeletal disorders such as neck, shoulder and lower back pain, tennis elbow and repetitive strain injury, which are common among office workers.

A further potential application is for athletes, who need to monitor their heart signals when training near the peak of their capacity in order to detect any symptoms of overtraining. Conditions associated with overtraining, such as palpitations and irregular heartbeat, can be detected with the help of an effective personal heart rate monitoring device.


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