Plessey to Launch ECG Monitor at Electronica

October 23, 2012

The handheld ECG uses the company's highly sensitive electric field sensor technology.

PLYMOUTH, U.K. -- Plessey will be launching a hand held, ECG monitor at this year's Electronica Show. Aimed at the home health market, the imPulse will allow the routine, quick and accurate recording of ECG signal outside of the medical environment and without the need for conductive gel or skin preparation.

This compact, hand-held device detects an ECG signal when the user's two thumbs are placed on the two sensor pads using two Plessey PS25201 sensors to recover the ECG signals. It measures the left and right signals and transmits the data via a Bluetooth link to a Smartphone or Tablet where custom software can then display the ECG trace and perform some simple analysis of heart rate. Using the latest generation of the EPIC sensor, which typically uses only 1.5 mA during the short (15 seconds) period needed for ECG sensing, the imPulse has a very long battery life of several months before recharging.

Barry Dennington, Plessey's COO, said, "We have commercialised this innovative, multi-awarding, sensor technology from lab prototype to volume production of ICs in just over a year. There is an incredible range of applications that customers are designing products for—from monitoring vital signs to gesture recognition. However, we are constantly being asked for products based on EPIC so we have designed our own that we now have available."

Plessey's EPIC Sensor Technology
The EPIC sensor, which requires no physical or resistive contact to make measurements, will enable innovative new products to be made such as medical scanners that are simply held close to a patient's chest to obtain a detailed ECG reading or safety and security devices that can 'see' through walls. The sensor can be integrated on a chip with other features such as data converters, digital signal processing and wireless communications capability.

The technology works at normal room temperatures and functions as an ultra-high, input impedance sensor that acts as a highly stable, extremely sensitive, contactless digital voltmeter to measure tiny changes in the electric field down to milliVolts. Most places on Earth have a vertical electric field of about 100 Volts per metre. The human body is mostly water and this interacts with the electric field. EPIC technology is so sensitive that it can detect these changes at a distance and even through a solid wall.

The datasheets on EPIC sensors, EPIC application notes, and video demos can be found on the Plessey Web site.

About Plessey
Plessey is an innovator and manufacturer of technology based electronic components and products. Plessey was re-launched in January 2010 using its existing semiconductor-based technologies supported by its 8-inch and 6-inch semiconductor fabricating lines located in Plymouth, England. Plessey has released a range of new innovative products and components including the new EPIC sensor - the Electric Potential Integrated Circuit. In 2013, Plessey are planning to launch a range of MAGIC smart lighting components and products—MAGIC being MAnufactured on GaN Integrated Circuit.

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