Portable ECG takes 2nd place in annual TI Analog Design Contest

A team of electrical engineers from Michigan State University spent countless hours over the course of four months working on a project to make a portable ECG demonstration board using TI technology. Now, they are thrilled with the end result – a device where anyone can see their live ECG signal just by using their fingertips. Electrocardiographs (more commonly known as ECGs) are an essential health care tool used to monitor a person’s heart rate and identify irregularities in health.

“The basic idea was to create a portable demonstration board that users can interact with at trade shows and tech shows to allow them to display their actual personal ECG signal. We designed an analog front end board that interfaced with a Stellaris® microcontroller, now known as Tiva™ MCUs, running an oscilloscope application,” said Mike Mock with the MSU team.

Their ECG demonstration board was impressive enough to recently take 2nd place at the annual TI analog design contest, where during the 2012-13 school year, 450 students from 47 accredited engineering colleges and universities from the U.S. and Canada participated. The MSU students said the demonstration board exceeded the project’s requirements and TI plans on using the board to showcase the performance of TI’s precision analog components.

“It makes access to data and information way easier. I never thought it would be possible being able to walk up to a device and actually display your heart rate right on the spot so you can see if you are healthy,” said Mike.

Mike said the support from TIers unequaled expertise in analog and embedded processing was incredibly helpful, but he also personally appreciated the chance to meet engineers in the field he wants to go into. Mike and teammate Justin Bohr came into the TI Analog Design Contest with an impressive design, and came out with jobs at TI.

“Two of us are now working here at Texas Instruments and it’s been a great opportunity. I’m working in the applications global rotations program and our design competition was an awesome opportunity to showcase our talent before we even started in our new roles,” said Mike.

The Engibous Summit, named after former TI chairman and CEO Thomas Engibous, invites the top 10 finalist teams to TI in Dallas for a three-day event.

TI is passionate about working with the best and brightest who are developing innovative components to promote healthier lives in the medical fields of health, imaging and fitness. From blood glucose meters to automated external defibrillators (AED), digital X-Rays to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and heart rate monitors to body composition systems, TI strives to make healthcare more flexible, affordable and accessible.

To see the ECG Demonstration Board in action, watch the video below.

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