Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Korea-based digital healthcare solutions manufacturer, MEZOO, has selected Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth® 5.2/Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the wireless connectivity for its ‘HiCardi’ wearable electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring system.
The system is made up of three elements; a lightweight wearable ECG tag, a smartphone app, and a Cloud-based platform, and is designed for use in both healthcare facilities as well as by individuals who want to monitor their own heart health. The HiCardi tag features an adhesive patch allowing it to be placed on a patient’s chest so their heart can be monitored continuously throughout the day and night, at rest or during exercise. It is suitable for bedside monitoring or in place of an ECG Holter device.
Ample processing power
The wearable measures vital signs including one channel ECG, heart rate, body temperature, respiration rate, and body posture. The nRF52832 SoC’s 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4 processor with floating point unit (FPU) provides ample processing power for the tag to continuously record ECG waveform data and detect arrhythmia in ‘real time’ at the device. The Nordic SoC then wirelessly relays the data to the user’s Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphone, where from the iOS and Android HiCardi app they can review their heart health data. The data—and the user’s location—is also sent to the Cloud, where from the HiCardi web platform healthcare professionals can review an individual’s data, useful for remote patient monitoring and telehealth applications.
Long battery life
The tag is powered by a rechargeable 50mAh Li-Poly battery providing at least 16 hours of battery life between recharge, thanks in part to the ultra-low power characteristics of the Nordic SoC. The nRF52832 has been engineered to minimize power consumption with features such as the 2.4GHz radio’s 5.5mA peak RX/TX currents and a fully-automatic power management system that reduces power consumption by up to 80 per cent compared with Nordic’s nRF51 Series SoCs.
Nordic’s nRF52832 multiprotocol SoC combines the Arm processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5.2, ANT™, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software) featuring -96dB RX sensitivity, with 512kB Flash memory and 64kB RAM. The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S132 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5-certifed RF software protocol stack for building advanced Bluetooth LE applications. The S132 SoftDevice features Central, Peripheral, Broadcaster and Observer Bluetooth LE roles, supports up to twenty connections, and enables concurrent role operation.
“The most important things are accuracy and reliability in the medical device field and that is the reason we selected Nordic. It enables HiCardi to capture, diagnose, and transmit ECG data on the tag in real time,” says Junghwan Park, Ph.D. CEO, MEZOO.
“Because HiCardi has to process ECG data in real time on a tiny tag, that creates many challenges around memory capacity, processing capability, and power consumption, but Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC was the ideal solution.”
HiCardi is approved by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) in Korea. According to the company it will be available in Q3, 2020 in Korea and in Q4, 2021 in the U.S.