Near Field Communication-based telemonitoring with integrated ECG recordings
03 January 2011
accepted: 11 October 2011
16 December 2017 (online)
Objective: Telemonitoring of vital signs is an established option in treatment of patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). In order to allow for early detection of atrial fibrillation (AF) which is highly prevalent in the CHF population telemonitoring programs should include electrocardiogram (ECG) signals. It was therefore the aim to extend our current home monitoring system based on mobile phones and Near Field Communication technology (NFC) to enable patients acquiring their ECG signals autonomously in an easy-to-use way.
Methods: We prototypically developed a sensing device for the concurrent acquisition of blood pressure and ECG signals. The design of the device equipped with NFC technology and Bluetooth allowed for intuitive interaction with a mobile phone based patient terminal. This ECG monitoring system was evaluated in the course of a clinical pilot trial to assess the system’s technical feasibility, usability and patient’s adherence to twice daily usage.
Results: 21 patients (4f, 54 ± 14 years) suffering from CHF were included in the study and were asked to transmit two ECG recordings per day via the telemonitoring system autonomously over a monitoring period of seven days. One patient dropped out from the study. 211 data sets were transmitted over a cumulative monitoring period of 140 days (overall adherence rate 82.2%). 55% and 8% of the transmitted ECG signals were sufficient for ventricular and atrial rhythm assessment, respectively.
Conclusion: Although ECG signal quality has to be improved for better AF detection the developed communication design of joining Bluetooth and NFC technology in our telemonitoring system allows for ambulatory ECG acquisition with high adherence rates and system usability in heart failure patients.
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