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Sensors 2018, 18(8), 2715; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18082715

A Contactless Sensor for Pacemaker Pulse Detection: Design Hints and Performance Assessment

1
Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies, University of Naples Federico II, Via Claudio, 21-80125 Napoli, Italy
2
Istituti Clinici Scientifici Maugeri S.p.A.—Società benefit, Via S. Maugeri, 4-27100 Pavia, Italy
3
The MARCS Institute, Western Sydney University, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia
4
School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 July 2018 / Revised: 7 August 2018 / Accepted: 15 August 2018 / Published: 18 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensors)
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Abstract

Continuous monitoring of pacemaker activity can provide valuable information to improve patients’ follow-up. Concise information is stored in some types of pacemakers, whereas ECG can provide more detailed information, but requires electrodes and cannot be used for continuous monitoring. This study highlights the possibility of a continuous monitoring of pacemaker pulses by sensing magnetic field variations due to the current pulses. This can be achieved by means of a sensor coil positioned near the patient’s thorax without any need for physical contact. A simplified model of coil response to pacemaker pulses is presented in this paper, along with circuits suitable for pulse detection. In vitro tests were carried out using real pacemakers immersed in saline solution; experimental data were used to assess the accuracy of the model and to evaluate the sensor performance. It was found that the coil signal amplitude decreases with increasing distance from the pacemaker lead wire. The sensor was able to easily perform pacemaker spike detection up to a distance of 12 cm from the pacemaker leads. The stimulation rate can be measured in real time with high accuracy. Since any electromagnetic pulse triggers the same coil response, EMI may corrupt sensor measurements and thus should be discriminated. View Full-Text
Keywords: pacemaker pulse; coil sensor; pacing monitor; personal healthcare device; pervasive patient monitoring pacemaker pulse; coil sensor; pacing monitor; personal healthcare device; pervasive patient monitoring
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Andreozzi, E.; Gargiulo, G.D.; Fratini, A.; Esposito, D.; Bifulco, P. A Contactless Sensor for Pacemaker Pulse Detection: Design Hints and Performance Assessment. Sensors 2018, 18, 2715.

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