A wearable 12-lead ECG acquisition system with fabric electrodes.
Continuous electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring is significant for prevention of heart disease and is becoming an important part of personal and family health care. In most of the existing wearable solutions, conventional metal sensors and corresponding chips are simply integrated into clothes and usually could only collect few leads of ECG signals that could not provide enough information for diagnosis of cardiac diseases such as arrhythmia and myocardial ischemia. In this study, a wearable 12-lead ECG acquisition system with fabric electrodes was developed and could simultaneously process 12 leads of ECG signals. By integrating the fabric electrodes into a T-shirt, the wearable system would provide a comfortable and convenient user interface for ECG recording. For comparison, the proposed fabric electrode and the gelled traditional metal electrodes were used to collect ECG signals on a subject, respectively. The approximate entropy (ApEn) of ECG signals from both types of electrodes were calculated. The experimental results show that the fabric electrodes could achieve similar performance as the gelled metal electrodes. This preliminary work has demonstrated that the developed ECG system with fabric electrodes could be utilized for wearable health management and telemedicine applications.