We were inspired by Ben, a med student who was a mentor at the event, to try making a small, lightweight EKG machine to provide affordable monitoring. While we weren't ultimately successful in making a working product, due to lack of components and component insufficiencies, we iterated several times, trying out different circuit layouts and creating a testing system to evaluate our technology. While we don't have a finished product, we learned a lot.

Part of the plan was to display the information via a webpage, taking advantage of the web connectivity of the Spark Core. To this end, we tried to implement the Flot JS library, and use it to perform realtime plots of the data on the Spark Core.

We overcame several challenges over the course of this project: the lack of wires led us to make our own leads, soldering together several small jumpers and attaching coins as conductor pads. We also were able to develop a rigorous set of codes that allowed us to evaluate our equipment, in part consisting of a script running on an Arduino outputting through a voltage divider. This generated the millivolt-level signal needed to simulate EMG readings.

This device would be used as a cheap EKG by paramedics, doctors in developing nations, or other places where cost is a large factor and small size is key. We believe the difficulties we had in getting our projects would work would be easily overcome by higher quality components and a better microcontroller system.

While we were not ultimately successful, we learned a lot, and came close to making a really useful device.

We are at table 69 in the Sayles Basement.

Share this project: