Smartbeat: developing sensors to monitor heart failure
Verhaert is proud to be one of the 8 consortium partners in the Smartbeat project, financed by the European AAL (Ambient Assisted Living) program. The project aims to continuously monitor aging people with increased risk of heart failure. Since the rates of death from cardiovascular diseases are increasing rapidly, monitoring is necessary to manage heart failure proactively.
Supporting healthy and active aging
The Smartbeat project aims to enable continuous and live monitoring of patients with high heart failure risks. These patients are mainly among the aging population, a segment that will grow enormously in the future. According the Global Coalition on Aging, 450 million people worldwide will turn 65 over the next 20 years. Advanced monitoring solutions are necessary to assist healthy and active aging. The Smartbeat project allows proactive management of heart failure to avoid hospitalization or reduce the period of time in the hospital. The full-fledged mobile solution consists of 4 modules: a Vital Signs System (VSS), an accompanying interface, a portal for caregivers and a data analysis module.
Monitoring a patient’s physical condition
The Vital Signs System (VSS) is a type of safety harness or belt which allows live monitoring of a patient’s physical condition: heart rate, rhythm, blood pressure and pulmonary congestion. Furthermore, a smartphone can be used to register the patient’s exercise and activity, and to manually log weight, diet and medication. Both formal and informal health care providers can add additional data about the patient’s health through the caregivers’ portal.
Next, all collected data will be analyzed and compared with both the patient’s history and scientific medical data. This gives the treating cardiologist a wide range of information to take better care of the heart patients. Finally, this will lead to less acute interventions or moralities.
Developing and validation of sensors
Within the consortium Verhaert focuses on the development, integration and validation of the Vital Signs System components: the sensors to measure heart rate, rhythm, blood pressure and oxygen level, and sensors to detect pulmonary auscultation. The system requirements are being defined in the first phase of the project. Experts determine the sensitivity level of the sensors, while patients and caregivers provide input for the design and interface.
During the second phase the individual sensors will be developed and validated. The third phase includes the integration of the different components of the VSS. The safety harness or belt will be designed and equipped with all the sensors, to finally be used in field trials within 3 countries.