Presentation

A Polypyrrole-Coated Textile Electrode and Connector for Wearable ECG Monitoring

Shashank Wattal • Scott Spear • Masudul Haider Imtiaz • Edward Sazonov

18:15 - 20:15 | Monday 5 March 2018 | Caribbean ABC

Summary

Long-term remote ECG monitoring is essential for early detection and diagnosis of arrhythmias. Since comfort and lack of intrusion are essential in such applications, textile-based wearable ECG systems with dry contact electrodes have been introduced in state of the art research. However, widespread adoption of such electrodes has not yet been achieved. To explore the potential of modern materials in advancing this technology, we present a new textile electrode and connector designed to enhance comfort, ease of adoption and reusability. The electrode/connector is made using Velcro strips and cotton thread coated with a conductive polymer of pyrrole. The use of conductive Velcro as a connector to data acquisition electronics allows quick and easy separation of non-fabric components. An instrumented t-shirt was built using two electrode-connector pairs connected to wearable ECG electronics. Monitoring sessions lasting up to 7 hours in free-living conditions consistently provided usable waveforms with easily identifiable QRS peaks. There was no noticeable degradation in signal quality with use (300 connection cycles, 10 machine washes), but an increase in electrode/connector resistance was noticed after washing. The results suggest that the proposed electrode/connector design shows promise and warrants further development.