Wearable ECG patch used to study autonomic function in predicting heart disease

Aug. 29, 2019
Emory University researchers will study patients undergoing coronary angiography in order to measure autonomic function

VivaLNK, a provider of connected healthcare solutions, announces an agreement to provide its medical wearable ECG sensors to Emory University for a study to evaluate autonomic function in predicting coronary artery disease (CAD) and its relationship to depression and long-term outcomes.

The study builds upon previous work by Emory researchers titled Circadian Autonomic Inflexibility: A Marker of Ischemic Heart Disease, which associates lower heart rate variability (HRV) with subclinical myocardial ischemia.

"VivaLNK’s ECG patch is very small and comfortable to wear, which are important factors for clinical use and long-term ECG monitoring,” said Amit Shah, MD, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. "In addition, the software development kit makes it easy to use the patch for research and product development purposes.”

The VivaLNK medical wearable ECG patch contains an electrocardiography sensor and accelerometer to capture and generate multiple physiological data including ECG trace, heart rate, RR-interval, and 3-axis motion. About the size of a small bandage, the reusable and rechargeable patch weighs a mere 7.5 grams and can be worn continuously for 72 hours at-a-time to capture and transmit data in real time.

As part of the study, the device will be used to remotely monitor patients who are undergoing coronary angiography, in order to measure autonomic function. Participants will be monitored using the ECG patch for continuous 72-hour periods in a clinical and ambulatory environment, which offers a more complete picture in a natural setting. The research goal is to better understand the role of the autonomic nervous system in depression and coronary artery disease, and to develop better tools for clinical assessment.