Health technology

1. Non-invasive cardio.respiratoru information from four electrodes


A system has been conceived, designed and tested in the laboratory that can obtain beat-to-beat cardiovascular and respiratory information from two pairs of dry electrodes that establish contact one pair with each extremity. From those four electrodes, the ECG and a pulse wave signal based on electrical impedance changes are obtained that allow us to calculate the pulse arrival time (PAT), which is strongly correlated to blood pressure and arterial elasticity. Further signals analysis contributes information about cardiac contractility and respiration. The system is conceived as a user terminal able to transmit signals for preliminary medical diagnosis, on request, on a periodic basis or eventually when the subject feels some indicative symptoms. It can be built in different devices intended for multiple applications in a variety of scenarios:

1. A (wireless or wired) hand-held terminal such as a steering wheel or a handle bar wherein each electrode pair is contacted by a different hand.
2. The handle bar of a(n exercise) bicycle with an electrode pair for each hand.
3. A desktop terminal for two fingers of each had to contact respective electrodes.
4. A cardiovascular watch or wristband wherein two electrodes are in contact with one wrist and the user touches two additional electrodes with two fingers from the other hand.
5. A pharmacy scale where the user grips two handles, each with two electrodes.
6. A bathroom scale where each (bare) foot contacts an electrode pair.
7. A bathroom scale that includes a cord-and-handle accessory for each hand to contact.
8. A chair with a pair of electrodes on each arm rest for the user to touch or grip. Also applicable to a wheel chair.
9. A toilet seat wherein each establishes contact with a different thigh.
10. The case of a mobile phone that the user holds by two fingers (usually thumb and index) from each hand.


Some possible uses are: home health care, health promotion programs, life-style improvement, physical activity programs, treatment of nutrition disorders, hypertension, retirement and nursing homes, hotels and spas, physical activity monitoring, sports medicine, fitness centres, labour medicine, groups screening, patient sorting, primary care centres, community health centres, personal mobile healthcare, medical emergencies, first responders, rescue workers, drug testing, drug dose adjustment, and remote physiological monitoring in general.


A patent priority application for the method and apparatus has been filed.

2. Simple, comfortable system for fast multi-lead ECG measurements

A method is available to simultaneously obtain six standard ECG leads that is fast, comfortable, does not need any auxiliary personnel for electrode placement, works for standing and seated people, and is compatible with existing electrocardiographs.


Conventional methods to obtain the ECG require the placement of up to ten electrodes on the body and their attachment to an ECG machine using long cables. The procedure needs the involvement of an assistant to clean or prepare the skin, place the electrodes and connect the wires to the machine. For patients, it requires them to expose the skin areas where electrodes are to be placed, and usually to lie down on an examination bed, which is particularly uncomfortable for elders. Overall, the procedure is cumbersome and unnecessarily expensive for a cursory examination. Current electronic circuits can obtain high-quality ECG signals from dry electrodes that don’t need any skin preparation. Fast measurements can be performed by using two metal electrodes on a flat surface and two metal handles. The subject only needs to stand on a platform with bare feet and at the same time hold the two handles to get access to the four points needed to obtain the three basic ECG leads from which the three augmented limb leads can be derived. The platform can be that of a bathroom weighing scale, for example intended for bioimpedance measurement, and the ECG signals can be communicated to an external device for display. Alternatively, the feet electrodes can be on a flexible material placed on the floor and connected, together with the handles, to an electrical connector and from this to a conventional ECG machine.


Some possible applications are: home health care, retirement and nursing homes, sports medicine, fitness centers, labor medicine, groups screening, primary care centers, community health centers.



Prof. Ramon Pallas-Areny


Tel: +34 93 413 7096


Esteve Terradas 7, Building C4 08860 Castelldefels  (Barcelona, Spain)