Medica 2009

Dresden, /

ECG-vital – a portable ECG recorder
© Fraunhofer IPMS
ECG-vital – a portable ECG recorder.

from November 18 to 21, 2009 in Düsseldorf/Germany

Joint Booth of Saxony
Hall 3 Booth E74

Fraunhofer IPMS, Dresden carries out customer specific developments in fields of microelectronic and micro systems technology serving as a business partner that supports the transition of innovative ideas into new products. Fraunhofer IPMS develops and fabricates modern MEMS and OLED devices in its own clean room facilities. In addition to R&D services it offers ramp-up within a pilot production. With modern equipment and about 200 scientists and engineers, the range of projects and expertise covers sensor and actuator systems, microscanner, spatial light modulators, lifetronics as well as organic materials and systems.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems will be presenting exhibits at Medica 2009 on the following topics:

Immediate Evaluation of ECG and Movement Signals

At present, the evaluation of long-term ECGs is performed by the attending physician, who enters the ECG data into a PC where it undergoes a preliminary analysis in a software program following a patient's visit to the practice. The physician looks at the flagged critical areas and makes a diagnosis. For years IPMS has been researching a suitable algorithm, which will make an analysis directly within the ECG recorder possible. The goal is to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the current cardiac function. For this purpose, diverse methods are employed, such as rhythm analysis, QRS classification, analysis of the atrium activity, as well as QT measurement. For example, this software has been integrated into the portable instrument »ECG-vital« from Fraunhofer IPMS. When the analysis software detects a change in the ECG, the recorder immediately sends an excerpt of the ECG through a gateway to the physician, who can then make a decision regarding follow-up. This way, long-term evaluation can be performed without the patient having to go to the doctor's repeatedly. Parallel to the ECG recording, the patient's movements and physical activity is also recorded and analysed: The instrument automatically recognizes whether the patient is standing, lying down, walking, running, or climbing stairs. This means that an ECG recording can be performed under real everyday conditions, without the patient having to keep a diary of his daily activities. Due to the link between the physical activity data and the ECG data, an improvement in the analysis results is achieved. In particular, changes occurring in the ECG can be correlated to the corresponding physical stress situations, and disturbances caused by movement artefacts can be effectively reduced. If the patient is climbing stairs, for example, and the heart rate increases, then pathological tachycardia will not be mistakenly identified, as an increase is normal under such stress conditions.

»Intelligent« Implants

Implants are taking on an increasingly important role when natural organs can no longer function on their own. Aside from pacemakers, most implants are mechanical parts used for stability or for bone substitution. Artificial hips are one well known example. In order to improve their functionality even further, these systems will be fitted with electronic components in the future. At the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS, a platform based upon transponder technology has been developed, with which the implant electronics can not only be powered wirelessly, but the measurements within the implant can be read out at the same time. Fraunhofer IPMS introduces an intelligent implant, using the example of a hip prosthetic which has been outfitted with sensors for measuring the stability of the bone bolting. A microsystem containing an accelerator sensor measures the vibrations of the prosthetic implant, which are created by an external stimulus. The measurement data is transferred wirelessly to the physician's PC. In this manner, the physician can ascertain during regular check-ups whether the endoprosthesis has grown together with the bone or if there are signs of loosening. The physician can thus circumvent critical situations with suitable therapeutic measures.