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Tuesday December 15th, 2020

Life, Interrupted: The 2020 Year in Review

“We are living in such unprecedented times!” is a phrase we’ve heard with increasing frequency this year.

The Covid-19 pandemic is one of the many events that made this year a year like no other. In a year that started with a devastating wildfire season, it’s safe to say we have all experienced world-shifting events. In the final weeks of 2020, we’re looking back over the last year on some B-Secur highlights and how ECG/EKG technology supported the transformation of healthcare.

 

Covid-19 and the Heart
At the start of the pandemic, it became clear that innovative health technologies would play an increasingly important role in the battle to fight the pandemic and fundamentally reshape the healthcare system as we know it. With UK hospitals running a high risk of being overwhelmed, our engineers examined how EKG algorithms could assist with patient remote monitoring, focusing on the physiological changes brought on by infection.

The pandemic has brought so many challenges to so many people from financial stress to mental health concerns, but the one area that has been widely discussed is the impact that the virus has on the hearts of those who contract it. In ‘Cardiovascular implications in patients with COVID-19’ we looked in more detail at the cardiac damage that was appearing as another side effect in COVID-19’s repertoire of possible complications.

 

A study carried out by JAMA, found that 16.7% of COVID-19 patients developed arrhythmia whilst infected.

 

These long-term effects from cardiac damage will fuel a new wave of demand for remote patient monitoring via accurate, portable technology. This highlights the opportunity wearable devices have in providing a solution that people can use to monitor for an arrhythmia.

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PPG and EKG Advancements
2020 was a key year in the advancement of biometric technology in wearables. The wearable technology market is quickly evolving into a major tech segment thanks to a growing consumer market driven by the sales of smartwatches.

 

Personalised data generated from wearables is empowering medical professionals to make more informed care decisions with new insights that extend beyond a patient’s physical activity.

 

There are two primary technologies available for integration into wearable devices, electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) and photoplethysmogram (PPG). Whilst EKG and PPG have their own individual benefits, a combination of both has a wealth of advantages for a next generation wearable. The combined solution of EKG and PPG in wearables provides continuous accurate data to remotely monitor patient diagnoses and treatments.

 

 

An exciting announcement for B-Secur in 2020 was our partnership with LifeQ (PPG providers) to offer an advanced, integrated EKG and PPG based technology solution for advanced biometric applications. The combined offering provides superior sensing capabilities from wearable devices and enables advanced features for User ID, health and wellness monitoring in next generation everyday devices.

Our team in 2020
This year in our ongoing look at the people behind the B-Secur brand we got some insight into various teams within B-Secur. First up, we spoke with Hardware Technical Specialist Chris Clotworthy, who joined the team back in January 2019. Chris shared insight into his direct responsibilities and the role he plays in the Engineering team as well as the future plans for B-Secur’s HeartKey®.

Next up was an insight into the algorithm team, with Algorithm Engineer Kamran Shafqat. Following our exciting partnership announcement with LifeQ, Kamran focused on the importance of combining B-Secur’s HeartKey® with PPG functionality into next generation wearables.

 

 

Our most recent interview was with Head of Global Sales Alex Gibson. This exciting two-part interview covered a wealth of topics such as the importance of B-Secur’s partnerships with some of the world’s leading semiconductor companies as well as Alex’s personal perspective of the tech industry and predictions for the future, specifically within the wearable market.

All Interviews