Plessey makes home health ECG monitoring an affordable reality — imPulse on show at CES 2013


Plessey will be demonstrating its innovative handheld ECG monitor at CES 2013. The imPulse uses Plessey’s award winning EPIC sensors to detect the ECG of the user, which is displayed as a trace on a Smartphone or tablet via a Bluetooth link.
The user simply touches the two contact pads with both thumbs. The EPIC sensors detect the changes in the electric potential of the body and the raw data is then transmitted to a laptop or smartphone where the software turns this into a clear trace for display.

Aimed at the home health and remote monitoring markets, the imPulse will allow the routine, quick and accurate recording of ECG signals outside of the medical environment and without the need for conductive gel, skin preparation. An example of a use for the imPulse is using it as part of a remote health monitoring system for the elderly or unwell. This would enable routine heart monitoring to done without the need for a nurse to visit.

Alan Colman, Plessey’s EPIC Business Unit Manager, said, “At present, a nurse could monitor around 20 or so patients and measure their heart rate. With this device, a nurse could remotely monitor a hundred or more patients and focus on those patients when there is a problem identified.”

Steve Cliffe, Plessey’s Director of Business Development, added, “This is an exciting time for the company. When you are pioneering a completely new technology, it significantly accelerates market adoption if you can deliver disruptive solutions that achieve more than your customers thought possible.”


Plessey’s EPIC Sensor technology

The EPIC sensor, which requires no physical or resistive contact to make measurements, will enable innovative new products to be made such as medical scanners that are simply held close to a patient’s chest to obtain a detailed ECG reading or safety and security devices that can ‘see’ through walls. The tiny solid state sensor can be integrated on a chip with other features such as data converters, digital signal processing and wireless communications capability. Other uses include controlling prosthetic limbs by picking up the body’s natural control signals without the need for a surgically implanted electrode, gesture recognition to control computers without the need for cameras and discretely monitoring a car driver’s heart rate for signs of fatigue.

The technology works at normal room temperatures and functions as an ultra-high, input impedance sensor that acts as a highly stable, extremely sensitive, contactless voltmeter to measure tiny changes in the electric field down to milliVolts. Most places on Earth have a vertical electric field of about 100 Volts per metre. The human body is mostly water and this interacts with the electric field. EPIC technology is so sensitive that it can detect these changes at a distance and even through a solid wall.

The datasheets on EPIC sensors can be found on the Plessey website at:

EPIC application notes are available at Video demos at



About Plessey

Plessey is an innovator and manufacturer of technology based electronic solutions. Plessey has a deep understanding of the human interaction with electronics combined with expertise in micro-electronic product design and manufacture that delivers electronic interface solutions to enhance the human experience. Plessey has released a range of new innovative solutions including the new EPIC sensor – the Electric Potential Integrated Circuit. In 2013, Plessey are launching a range of MAGIC smart lighting solutions – MAGIC being MAnufactured on GaN Integrated Circuit. Through technology and innovation, Plessey is radically enhancing the human experience with micro-electronics solutions such that people achieve more than they thought possible.


imPulse, MAGIC, EPIC and imPulse are trademarks of Plessey Semiconductors Ltd.


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