A wearable sensor system, which could hasten the detection of heart disorders, has won a Malmö University professor a place in this year’s Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) top 100 list.

“Being on the list is very rewarding because it means our research has a greater opportunity to reach out and contribute to a more sustainable society,” says Reza Malekian, the professor leading the research. He continues:

“We hope that inclusion on the IVA list will raise the profile of our work, broaden our network of industrial and public sector partners which support our research. In addition, we hope it will enable us to collaborate with care product companies and have our sensor device integrated into their products.”

Being on the IVA's 100 list is also recognition and confirmation that our research has a direct impact on good health and well-being.

Reza Malekian

The aim of the research project is to develop a wearable device that can measure ECG signals with only two electrodes without direct contact with the patient's skin; where an intelligent ECG sensor system learns to recognise different heartbeat conditions and through AI algorithms detects different cardiac arrhythmias.

To achieve this, active electrodes, rather than passive ones, are used; these are more suitable for continuous signal measurements and reduction of interference, for example from cables and other electronic devices. The system communicates via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) which transmits data with low power.

The World Health Organization reports that approximately one third of all deaths each year are caused by cardiovascular diseases. Just within the EU, according to the European Heart Network, the figure for premature deaths stands at 1.8 million, which is 37 per cent of all deaths in the EU.

The purpose of IVA's 100 list is to highlight contemporary research and make it easier for researchers and companies to find each other and together create innovation and new business opportunities. This year's list sought research projects in climate change, energy supply, welfare technology, cyber security and crisis preparedness.

“Being on the IVA's 100 list is also recognition and confirmation that our research has a direct impact on good health and well-being. Our work on intelligent sensing makes health monitoring pervasive and ubiquitous, providing healthcare to anyone, anytime and anywhere,” adds Malekian, who conducts his research at the Internet of Things and People (IOTAP) at Malmö University.

Text: Magnus Erlandsson & Adrian Grist

More about IVA's Top 100 list

IVA's 100 list was launched in connection with IVA's 100th anniversary in 2019, hence the name. The initiative is run in collaboration with Vinnova, PRV, Almi, Teknikföretagen, Svenskt Näringsliv, KK foundation and Sweden's colleges and universities.