Practical Non-contact ECG Electrodes for Prep-free Monitoring
Cognionics has developed a high-quality, low-noise, dry/non-contact ECG electrode that can obtain signals even through layers of clothing without any skin preparation. Although the idea of a non-contact electrode is not new and has been previously investigated by other research groups, a successful design has yet to be achieved due to unresolved issues relating to noise, artifacts and complexity.The Cognionics technology is based in part on a novel custom integrated amplifier developed by the PI and licensed from the University of California, San Diego. The patent-pending amplifier is specifically optimized for high-impedance biopotential sensing and is able to achieve significantly better performance in terms of input impedance and noise than the discrete off-the-shelf components used in previous research efforts. In contrast to older designs, the Cognionics sensor requires no manual adjustments (neutralization), consumes a minimum of power (a few uWs) and is virtually insensitive to variations in the body-electrode coupling strength. The new amplifier combined with several Cognionics developed proprietary techniques has already yielded a non-contact sensor with significant improvements in signal quality even on fully ambulatory subjects.The Phase I proposal will further develop the sensor to demonstrate full compliance with AAMI ECG specifications through both bench and live testing. In Phase I, a single lead non-contact chest strap will be produced to serve as an evaluation platform for delivery to NASA. A successful Phase I project will demonstrate that the core Cognionics non-contact sensor can fully meet NASA's signal quality requirements. The Phase II project will develop a full diagnostic ECG device for use in space environments and integrate the sensor within existing and future NASA systems (e.g., spacesuits).
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