A small heart monitor that harnesses the power of smartphones may assist physicians in treatment decisions by immediately identifying and then alerting them about cardiac anomalies in heart patients.

Detecting the onset of cardiac anomalies at an early stage is critical in preventing major cardiac events. Developed jointly by the Embedded Systems and Telecommunications Circuits labs at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), the device offers round-the-clock remote monitoring of patients and may help doctors respond to heart problems more quickly.

The monitor consists of four noninvasive electrode sensors attached to the skin, which are then linked to a radio module and computer chip that clips onto a patient’s belt. The system collects reliable and precise data, as well as provides an automatic analysis and immediate transmission of data via to the individual’s smartphone. Images and data are then sent by email or text to a physician, who can intervene if necessary.