News Article

Imec And Bloomlife Showcase Prototype Of Wearable 5-Channel ECG Chip

Credit: Bloomlife

At FutureSummits, imec - a research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies - and Bloomlife - an imec spin-off - showcased a prototype of the world's first wearable 5-channel electrocardiogram (ECG) chip to continuously and accurately monitor fetal heart rate and mobility, two important indicators of a baby's wellbeing. With the development of this chip, a major hurdle has been taken in the creation of a wearable ECG system that can accurately measure the fetal ECG as early as week 20 in a woman's pregnancy.

Pregnancy is often a time of excitement, but it also comes with uncertainty. It can feel like there are many unknowns, especially in terms of the baby's wellbeing and during the times between doctors' appointments. At-home pregnancy monitoring systems could take away some of that uncertainty and provide valuable insights and data. Unfortunately, today's wearable solutions are typically limited to tracking maternal health parameters, spot-checking or contraction monitoring and are not providing a real-time, continuous report of a baby's wellness.

Bloomlife's purposely-built BeatleIC chip, which leverages imec's unique integrated circuit (IC) technology know-how, is the only chip on the market today that has all required characteristics to accurately track a fetus' wellbeing indicators - such as heart rate and mobility - throughout the second half of a woman's pregnancy. Existing chips either consume too much energy to be of any practical use in wearable solutions or are not capable of tracking the right fetal parameters.

The BeatleIC chip features -

A 5-channel ECG sensor to enable simultaneous recording of all perinatal health related signals

Low power consumption to enable long-term and continuous use (featuring a battery lifetime of approximately one week on a coin cell)

High accuracy to enable fetal ECG data acquisition at very low amplitude levels (between 3 and 15µV peak-peak)

Eric Dy, Co-Founder/CEO at Bloomlife: "Our next step in bringing this technology to market includes a clinical trial to further validate the chip's measurement results. And, ultimately, we plan to launch not only a consumer product - consisting of a sensor device integrated in a wearable patch and a smartphone application - but also a risk management platform that can be used by medically qualified staff. We are excited about the significant impact of these advancements as we continue to work towards our mission to bring much overdue innovation and solutions to help solve the biggest challenges in prenatal care, including preterm birth."

"This development with Bloomlife is a concrete example of how imec's expertise in nanoelectronics and digital technologies translates into increasingly smaller, accurate and yet more energy-efficient components that find their way in a wide variety of application areas," adds Nick Van Helleputte, R&D manager circuit development for connected health solutions at imec. "When it comes to developing smart health solutions imec's research and insights in wearable technology and artificial intelligence can provide partner companies with a significant head start. Efforts like these are fully in line with our ambition to bringing wearable health technology within the reach of everyone, helping people track health parameters over extended periods of time so as to identify health risk factors and illness triggers."

The development of the BeatleIC was partially funded by the Flanders Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (VLAIO).

AngelTech Online Summit - Tuesday 19th May

The health and well-being of AngelTech speakers, partners, employees and the overall community is our top priority. Due to the growing concern around the coronavirus (COVID-19), and in alignment with the best practices laid out by the CDC, WHO and other relevant entities, AngelTech decided to postpone the live Brussels event to 16th - 18th November 2020.

In the interim, we believe it is still important to connect the community and we want to do this via an online summit, taking place live on Tuesday May 19th at 12:00 GMT and content available for 12 months on demand. This will not replace the live event (we believe live face to face interaction, learning and networking can never be fully replaced by a virtual summit), it will supplement the event, add value for key players and bring the community together – digitally.

The event will involve 4 breakout sessions for CS International, PIC International, Sensors International and PIC Pilot Lines.

Key elements of the online summit:

  • Covering key topics of the industries
  • Live 3 hour online summit
  • 10 minute presentations – learn from experts in the industry
  • Recorded product demos
  • Live audience questions
  • Enhanced discussion and audience interaction
  • Video panel sessions
  • Sponsors digital booth (intro video, company content, lead generator, facilitate one on one video meetings with attendees)
  • Live private video meetings between two or more attendees
  • After the live event, monthly keynotes to drive traffic to the event 24/7, 365

Innovation is in AngelTech’s DNA and we are leveraging this strength to bring you an immersive and inspiring online event without the risk of travel during this uncertain period.

Register to attend
Angel Tech Online Summit
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