Low-contact or wireless sensor to reliably and non-invasively detect phases in the cardiac cycle

Request Number N471342
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Fast, reliable, patient- & user-friendly cardio scan trigger within x-ray systems or other imaging devices.




Today, cardiac imaging depends on a safe and reliable trigger indicating the heart’s end-diastolic and/or end-systolic rest phase(s). State-of-the-art is based on the ECG to track the cardiac motion cycle. The ECG devices in use usually are not developed for diagnostic quality or long-term patient monitoring but focus on the imaging device’s demands: Real-time processing with very low trigger latency and high robustness to all relevant sources of noise.


ECG includes certain time-consuming steps needed to prepare the patient, like undress, shave and clean patient´s skin, attach a system of wire-bound ECG electrodes and checks to obtain a robust ECG signal.


Target of the project is to evolve this current state of the art towards a comfortable and workflow-optimized low-contact and / or wireless sensor solution to reliably and non-invasively detect phases in the patient’s cardiac cycle with strongest and least motion with an extremely short delay.












Key Success Criteria
  • Real time detection of the main Cardiac rest phases, which are:
    • T1. End-Diastole: End of the left ventricular filling phase, prior to the atrial systole phase
    • T2. End-Systole: End of the left ventricular ejection phase, at the time of isovolumic relaxation
  • High trigger performance (high sensitivity and predictivity of at least 95% in representative patient population)
  • Reproducible and acceptable predictive delay to the cardiac rest phases
  • The system should generate an estimate T1*/T2* in real time by generation of trigger points T1T/T2T around 200-250 ms before the actual occurrence of T1/T2.
  • The absolute difference between the estimate of T1*/T2* and T1/T2 should be below 50 ms or 5% RR interval length, based on the smaller of the two values depending on the heart rate.
  • Proven robustness to noise; e.g.
    • patient motion
    • other persons in the room
    • noise interference with 3rd-Party equipment via galvanic and capacitive noise coupling (e.g. contrast media injector)
    • direct X-ray exposure to front-end sensor elements (device itself may be placed outside of X-ray beam)
    • dynamic electrical field in patient environment (electrostatic charges, switching of table motors, etc.)
    • bad coupling conditions of the sensor system to the patient; e.g. for uncooperative or unconscious patients
  • Easy-to-apply workflow with low application time or full integration into a patient table
  • Low setup time of less than 1 min (sensing, calibration, etc.)
  • Easy-to-understand and reproducible signal output
  • Optional: Integrated measurement of respiratory activity


Additional aspects:

  • Hygiene: if reusable gear is needed – needs to be sanitizable.
  • If consumables are used: Minimal costs and easy acquisition logistics


Possible Approaches

Possible approaches could evolve this state of the art by including easy-to-apply front-end-sensors (e.g. capacitively coupled) to an ECG system or including a low-latency wireless data transmission from front-end to the signal processing part.


Alternative sensor approaches are possible, but need to fulfill robustness requirements comparable to ECG systems and need to be applicable with a significant benefit in terms of workflow. This includes  low- and non-contact systems as well as small patch- or belt-integrated solutions.


Approaches not of interest

List any approaches that have already been ruled out.


Preferred Collaboration types
  • Technology Licensing
  • Technology Acquisition
  • Supply Agreement
  • To Be Negotiated
Items to be submitted

We are looking for concise, non-confidential proposals. The proposal should:

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Point of Contact
Stephen Clulow
Area of Interest
  • Commercial & Industrial Design
  • Computer Hardware
  • Computer Software
  • Electronics & Electronic Components
  • Medical Products & Services
  • Pharmaceuticals
Due Date
March 31, 2017
Award Amount
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Is there to be an extension on this FRP, we are still getting a Team together. Thanks.
Posted on 11/15/16 4:21 PM.