Texas Instruments (TI) has launched a wireless heart monitor reference design for battery-powered, 3-channel ECG applications, offering accurate monitoring and BLE connectivity.
In the rapidly evolving healthcare technology landscape, wireless heart monitors have emerged as indispensable tools in promoting proactive health management and remote patient monitoring. As the world faces unprecedented challenges, including the ongoing global pandemic and a growing focus on personal health and wellness, accurate and convenient heart rate monitoring solutions have become more critical than ever. Texas Instruments (TI) has launched the reference design for a wireless heart monitor with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to simplify the design process. The reference design empowers the customers to create battery-powered, 3-channel health and fitness electrocardiogram (ECG) applications. With seamless integration into an iPhone Operating System (iOS) Mobile Application, users can effortlessly monitor their heart rate data. The device is powered by a reliable Lithium-ion battery, ensuring extended usage without interruptions. Equipped with Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) filters integrated into the device, it effectively rejects interference from external Radio Frequency (RF) sources, guaranteeing accurate and dependable measurements. Additionally, the open-source Firmware and iOS application provided with the design enables customers to expedite their time-to-market, making it a preferred choice for health and fitness applications.
At the core of the Wireless Heart Rate Monitor lies the ADS1293 device, which serves as the analogue front-end (AFE), and the CC2541 device, functioning as the BLE system-on-chip (SoC). The design allows end-users to monitor a patient’s heart rate data remotely. Featuring three high-resolution channels, the AFE can operate at a speed of up to 25.6 kps. Including EMI filters on all input pins ensures reliable signal quality. At the same time, a flexible routing switch facilitates independent lead-off detection, right leg drive, and Wilson/Goldberger reference terminal generation, eliminating the need for external lead reconnection. Moreover, a fourth channel caters to external analogue pace detection, catering to applications that do not utilize digital pace detection.
The SoC solution caters to both Bluetooth low energy and proprietary 2.4-GHz applications. Its design allows the construction of robust network nodes with minimal total bill-of-material costs, making it a cost-effective option. This powerful SoC integrates a leading RF transceiver with an industry-standard enhanced 8051 MCU, in-system programmable flash memory, 8-KB RAM, and numerous supporting features and peripherals. The SoC features ultralow power consumption.
The ECG data transmission utilizes a burst of six BLE notification packets every 14 ms. Each notification packet comprises 20 bytes, encompassing vital information such as ECG Sample 1 and ECG Sample 2, comprising raw Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) data for three channels. Additionally, an ECG error or status packet is sent after every 17 ECG samples, containing a 2-byte running counter, a status packet beginning indicating a 7-byte error status, and a status packet end.
TI has tested this reference design. It comes with a Bill of Materials (BOM), Assembly drawing, Gerber files, PCB layout, schematics, etc. You can find additional data about the reference design on the company’s website. To read more about this reference design, click here.