Continuous heart health monitoring is infinitely more useful than the single readings typically generated during a visit to a doctor’s office. Continuous monitoring for longer durations lessens the chance of missing heart rhythm problems. We’ve written about continuous ECG monitoring devices such as the Zio Patch since 2016. I’ve used a Zio Patch twice, for 3 days and for the device’s maximum 14-day duration. Current wearable patch devices typically collect a single type of measurement for a limited time.

Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia are developing a multifunctional, continuous ECG wearable heart monitor for longer than current duration limits. Thanks to the National Institutes of Health, the research team has funds to take the development much further.

According to the Missouri team leader Zheng Yan, an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical, Biological and Chemical Engineering and the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, the project objective is two-fold. The researchers focus on developing multifunctional cardiac patches using porous soft materials with antimicrobial protection and silver nanowire-based conductive materials. This could result in a patch that could be worn for up to a month at a time. The researchers also aim for a positive user experience with a device that monitors electrocardiogram (ECG) and seismocardiogram (SCG) data. The end-goal is technology that measures the heart’s electrical signals (ECG) and heart vibrations (SCG) to support early diagnosis and timely treatment plans.