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Thursday November 19th, 2020

Comparing HeartKey® Accuracy to Leading Medical Devices

Wearable devices, in their initial conception, focused on providing basic fitness tracking including steps and pulse rate. As technology progressed, so too have consumer expectations.

Today, consumers are demanding accurate, sophisticated health monitoring features from wearable devices. This shift has resulted in the technical development and commercialisation of next generation health and wellness wearables that can be used as remote powerful medical devices. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for telemedicine accelerated to become an essential part in the care of the vulnerable and concerned.


New studies during the pandemic will boost the healthcare wearables market (including ECG monitors) to 30M shipments in 2020, increasing to 104M shipments in 2025, at a CAGR of 28.5%.

ABI Research, 2020


Inaccurate or misleading health measurements can have serious consequences for the average user, who is unlikely to have the necessary medical training to spot or interpret anomalies. Inaccuracies may lead to false positives. This requires further investigation from the already backlogged healthcare providers thus leading to increased pressure on the health services.


Signal Accuracy is Key
Signal quality is a key component of accuracy; however, signal quality is the primary challenge for wearables to overcome. The majority of health wearables on the market use photoplethysmography (PPG) alone to monitor heart rate.

PPG is an optical-based indirect measurement which detects pulse rate rather than true electrical response of the heart on the skin and can be prone to noise artefact interference when incorporated as a sensing technology in a wrist wearable.


EKG offers significantly greater accuracy
B-Secur have invested heavily in understanding the complete signal chain, from electrodes to hardware and of course the delivery of world class algorithms. We have completed rigorous electrode and material testing to ensure the signal supplied to our algorithms is of the highest possible quality.

This high-quality raw EKG signal is then processed by HeartKey®’s Signal Conditioning and peak detection algorithms for a clean, accurate result. As health wearables look set to continue to play a major role in the future of telemedicine, the accuracy of a device is important and must be the foundation of any development.


Performance Analysis: B-Secur’s Expert View
At B-Secur, we have carried out extensive testing to ensure our algorithms perform to the highest levels of accuracies.


This graph shows results from the HeartKey® Heart Rate algorithm and from a well known medical holter monitor. It is clear to see there is virtually no difference between the two, displaying HeartKey®’s excellent performance against a single lead holter monitor.

To find out more about HeartKey®’s accuracy in comparison to leading health trackers on the market, read Mark Lilburn’s analysis in How Accurate Are Health Tracking Tools?


Diversity in our Data
As well as our world class algorithm solutions, we ensure the highest levels of accuracy through using a diverse range of databases within our development and testing. By obtaining both wet electrode and dry electrode data we ensure excellent algorithm performance in any end product.

We aim to be representative of a wide range of the population by carrying out global collections to ensure the highest possible algorithm performance across populations. Data has been collected across various form factors including automotive, smartwatches and smart clothing, as well as using various ECG Leads to ensure HeartKey® will perform to the highest standards across a wide range of use cases.