Portable ECG - Electrocardiogram

Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is the record of the electrical activity of the heart over a period of time. The measurement required to produce an electrocardiogram-applications involves detection of a variety of electrical potential readings from electrodes taped to the patient's skin. The electrical potential between a pair of electrodes passes through a highly precise instrumentation amplifier and is read by an A/D converter. Ordinary ECGs can only be used for short-term recording of patients’ electrocardiosignal because they are too big to carry. While portable ECGs, for example DCGs (Dynamic Electrocardiograph) and Holter monitors, could be easily carried by patients and record up to 100 thousand cardiac cycles uninterruptedly for 24 hours. Minimal weight, and extended battery life are essential for a portable ECG.


A portable ECG is basically composed of electrodes, an AFE (Analog Front End), a MCU/DSP, a ZigBee module, a SD card, a buzzer, a battery and a display. Electrodes detect electrocardiosignal from human bodies and send it to AFE for amplification and band-pass filtering (high pass and low pass), as well as A/D conversion. AFE can be categorized into AC coupling and DC coupling according to coupling implementation. DC coupling is the dominant design of ECGs’ AFE at present because of its low peak-to-peak noise performance within a diagnosis bandwidth and low power consumption at high precision. The digital output of AFE is processed by a processing unit which displays a real-time electrocardiogram-applications on screen and stores in SD card. Meanwhile, the processing unit can implement a quadratic differential wavelet transforms algorithm to identify abnormal electrocardiographic QSR waves. And if any abnormal is found, an alarm will be raised through buzzer. In addition, ECG data could be transmitted to a remote monitoring center through ZigBee wireless network.

Future portable ECGs are expected to be featured with more capabilities such as automatic diagnosis and remote wireless communication. Automatic diagnosis can figure out a general condition of patients based on a software algorithm and the detected electrocardiosignal. And if any problem, for example heart attack is detected, the portable ECGs equipped with remote wireless communication modules such as a GSM module would send an alarm immediately to patients’ families or doctors. 


Hover over the diagram blocks to view recommended products for this solution:

ECG Analog Front End which always integrated the functions of leads off detection, pace detection and respiration monitor.
Click for full parts list

Instrumentation Amplifier
Click for full parts list

Operational Amplifier
Click for full parts list

Operational Amplifier
Click for full parts list

Analog-to-Digital Converter
Click for full parts list

Touch Screen Controller
Click for full parts list

Digital Isolator
Click for full parts list

Temperature Sensor
Click for full parts list

Voltage reference
Click for full parts list

Analog Multiplexer
Click for full parts list

Power Management
Click for full parts list

LCD Display with Touch Pannel
Click for full parts list

LCD Display Driver
Click for full parts list

ManufacturerProduct TypeAN TitleAN NumberPart NumberURL
ANALOG DEVICESTouch Screen ControllerConfiguring the AD7877  AN-753AD7877  Click here
ANALOG DEVICESTouch Screen ControllerLayout and Grounding Recommendations for Touch Screen Digitizers  AN-577AD7843ARQZClick here
ANALOG DEVICESTouch Screen ControllerSensors for the AD7147 and AD7148 CapTouch® Controllers  AN-925AD7148Click here
ANALOG DEVICESTouch Screen ControllerUsing the AD7877 Touch Screen Controller and the Intel PXA250 Processor Under Windows CE.NET   AN-738AD7877  Click here
ANALOG DEVICES DSPBlackfin ADSP-BF50x Processors Powering the New Generation of Portable Medical Devices ADSP-BF50xClick here
ANALOG DEVICES AmplifierMitigation Strategies for ECG Design Challenges  MS-2160AD8220,AD8226Click here
ANALOG DEVICES AmplifierDiscussion Between CareFusion and Analog Devices: Optimizing Performance and Lowering Power in an EEG AmplifierMS-2178AD8226Click here
ANALOG DEVICES AmplifierInstrumentation Amplifiers Solve Unusual Design Problems  AN-245AD621Click here
ANALOG DEVICES AmplifierWays to Optimize the Performance of a Difference Amplifier   AN-589AD621Click here
ANALOG DEVICES AmplifierLow-Power, Low-Voltage IC Choices for ECG System Requirements Click here
ANALOG DEVICES DSPInterfacing SD Cards with Blackfin ProcessorsEE-335Blackfin ProcessorsClick here
ANALOG DEVICES MCUInterfacing the HD44780-Based Character LCD to an ADuC702x  AN-908ADuC702x  Click here
NXP ProcessorNXP Solutions for Electrocardiograph and Heart Rate Monitor ApplicationsAN4323MCF51MMClick here
NXP MCUHeart Rate Monitor and Electrocardiograph Fundamentals AN4059MC9S08JM60Click here
NXP  Connecting Low-Cost External Electrodes to MED-EKG AN4223MED-EKG Click here
TEXAS INSTRUMENTSMCUEKG-Based Heart-Rate Monitor Implementation on the LaunchPad Using MSP430G2452 (Rev. A)slaa486aMSP430G2452Click here
TEXAS INSTRUMENTSDSPECG Implementation on the TMS320C5515 DSP Medical Development Kitsprab36bTMS320C5515Click here
TEXAS INSTRUMENTSADCAnalog Front-End Design for ECG Systems Using Delta-Sigma ADCs (Rev. A)sbaa160aADS1258Click here
TEXAS INSTRUMENTSMCUHeart-Rate and EKG Monitor Using the MSP430FG439 (Rev. A)slaa280aMSP430FG439Click here
TEXAS INSTRUMENTSAFEImproving Common-Mode Rejection Using the Right-Leg Drive Amplifier sbaa188ADS129x familyClick here
TEXAS INSTRUMENTSAFEThermal Noise Analysis in ECG Applicationssbaa185ADS129x familyClick here
TEXAS INSTRUMENTSAFERespiration Rate Measurement Using Impedance Pneumography    sbaa181ADS129x familyClick here
TEXAS INSTRUMENTSTouch Screen ControllerHow to Use TI's 4-Wire TSC to Control an 8-Wire Resistive Touch ScreenClick here
TEXAS INSTRUMENTSTouch Screen ControllerOperation Schemes of Touch Screen Controllers Click here
TEXAS INSTRUMENTSTouch Screen ControllerWhat Designers Should Know About Data Converter Drift   Click here
ManufacturerProduct TypeWhite Paper TitleURL
ANALOG DEVICES AMPBiopotential Electrode Sensors in ECG/EEG/EMG SystemsClick here
ANALOG DEVICES DSPBlackfin ADSP-BF50x Processors Powering the New Generation of Portable Medical DevicesClick here
TEXAS INSTRUMENTSMCUThe ultra-low-power USB revolution Click here
TEXAS INSTRUMENTSMCULow-Power FRAM Microcontrollers and Their ApplicationsClick here
ManufacturerProduct TypeEvaluation Kits TitleEVKs Part NumberPart NumberURL
NXP MCUQuick Start Guide for TWR-MCF5225X TWR-MCF5225X-KITMCF5225Click here
ANALOG DEVICES MCUEvaluation Board, Rev. 0 EVAL-ADUC7026QSPZ ADUC7026Click here
ANALOG DEVICES MCUSchematic and Board Outline EVAL-ADUC7026QSZ ADUC7026Click here
ManufacturerProduct TypeTraining TitlePart NumberURL
ANALOG DEVICES MCUUsing Integrated Precision Analog Microcontrollers to Simplify Data Acquisition System DesignADuC702x  Click here
NXP  Medical Device Communications: USB and Zigbee®Click here
TEXAS INSTRUMENTSAFEGetting Started With the ADS1298ECGFE-PDKADS1298Click here
TEXAS INSTRUMENTSAFEComplete Analog Front End for ECG/EEG ADS1298Click here
TEXAS INSTRUMENTSMCUPortable Medical- Smaller, Smarter, MSP430 MSP430  Click here
TEXAS INSTRUMENTSMCUMSP430 in Utility Metering Applications MSP430  Click here