HeartyPatch is a completely open source, single-lead, ECG-HR wearable patch with HRV (Heart Rate Variability) analysis. It is based on the popular ESP32 system-on-a-chip. HeartyPatch can be used both as a lifestyle device for managing fitness and stress as well as for diagnostics and medical research, with the potential for even more interesting applications.
What is Heart-rate Variability?
Heart-rate variability, or HRV, is a measure of the variance of heart-rate in real-time. More specifically, it is the time difference between two R-R intervals (the signal peaks) in an electro-cardiogram (ECG or EKG) plot.
Studies of heart-rate variability have shown that HRV can be indicative of some common forms of arrhythmia, including atrial fibrillation (AF) and atrial tachycardia (AT), among others. HRV can be detected with a single lead ECG, like HeartyPatch, which, for cardiac patients being monitored for such forms of arrhythmia, is much easier to wear long term than a full Holter configuration (three or five leads).
In fitness applications, some high-performance athletes train using biofeedback for heart-rate control and also for knowing when to start and stop training (based on heart-rate).
HRV has also be known to reflect emotion, mood, anxiety, and stress. When such psychological events happen, there is a known pattern of variance in heart rate. This makes HRV useful tool for studying mood and managing stress in people who are prone to such psychological states.
Finally, since HeartyPatch can detect individual heart-beats in real-time, it can also be used in the areas of design and non-medical wearables to detect heart beats to activate lights or any other form of feedback. Cardio-biofeedback is an example of controlling heart-rate.
HeartyPatch Modes of Operation:
HeartyPatch is open source. This means that the software on the device can be modified to work in any way you choose, providing access to raw heart-rate and inter-beat interval (IBI) data. Because of this flexibility, HeartyPatch can be operated in any or all of the following modes.
Continuous ECG streaming mode displays live ECG recording from the chest. This works similar to a heart-rate monitor. Below is a screen capture of the device working in ECG mode.
Beat-to-beat mode can be displayed by flashing the on-board LED or you can stream live, instantaneous heart rate over BLE for immediate detection of changes in inter-beat intervals.
Arrhythmia detection mode runs the arrhythmia algorithm in real-time and detects events of AFIB.
Heart-rate variability mode is available when HeartyPatch is connected to the desktop app, which displays the cardio-tachogram (CTG), Poincaré plot (variance), and histogram of inter-beat intervals. Below is a plot of data taken from an ECG simulator that is physically connected to the HeartyPatch.
HeartyPatch, out-of-the-box, supports any Android or iOS app that supports the standard BLE heartrate profile.
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