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A Novel Wearable Cardioverter Defibrillator

Team Members:
  • Sandya Subramanian
  • Melinda Chen
  • Taylor Lam
  • Powei Kang
  • Chun Ming So
  • Akash Premkumar
  • Caitlin Romanczyk
  • Quinn Salditch
  • Todd Cohen MD


Our device is a wearable cardioverter defibrillator (WCD) is designed to address the shortcomings of the standard of care, the Zoll LifeVest ®. There are four main factors that lead to a high noncompliance rate with the LifeVest: comfort, frequency of alarms, inability to sleep and image. Our device is designed with a “slip-on and forget” concept in mind to minimize necessary user maintenance and interaction with the device. It is in the form of a shirt as opposed to a harness, which maximizes comfort and improves image. The weight from the defibrillation components is better distributed for a more balanced center of gravity, making the garment feel lighter.  With our design, the center of gravity moves 10.9 cm closer to the center of gravity of the patient. Our integrated design requires minimal assembly on the user’s part. A small, separate user interface that is worn like a watch is used to wirelessly communicate with the garment. The user interface consists of visual feedback via LCD display and LED’s, auditory feedback via alarms, and tactile feedback via vibrational motors to alert the user of an impending shock. Our current prototype includes an ECG detection circuit with a rudimentary heart rate calculation algorithm wirelessly coupled to the watch interface. With our design, user comfort is highly increased, the maintenance process is simplified, and the general aesthetic is improved.

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