In this chapter discussion of how the heart works will be treated and some important terms will be defined to help our description of the heart rate scanner device. Some important terms that will be defined are: Microcontroller, Heart rate and Fingertip reader or scanner.
The heart is a vital part of the human body because it is from the heart acts as a mechanism that pumps blood to reach every nook and cranny of the human body the heart beats up to 100,000 times in a day.
The heart is divided into two sides and the dividing line is called the septum the right side of the heart pumps blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen, the left side then receives the oxygen rich blood gotten from the lungs and then pumps it to the rest of the body. The heart has four sides or chambers and also four valves these valves are connected to the different blood vessels. The blood vessels and veins carry blood from the body back to the heart while arteries help in the transportation of blood to the rest of the body. (Gary H. Gibbons, 2013). The heart is like a microprocessor in a computer it different blood platelets which are micro mini organisms which are created and destroyed every minute in the body are circulated round the body by the arteries and the veins within a particular time.
It is important to see how the heart beats, the atria and the ventricles work side by side, alternately contracting and relaxing pump blood. The part of the heart that makes this possible is the electrical system of the heart. The heartbeat is triggered by electrical impulses which travel down a special pathway through the heart. These electrical impulses starts in the small specialized cells which are called the sinoatrial node, it is located at the right atrium. The sinoatrial node is known as the hearts natural pacemaker. Electrical activity spreads through the walls of the atria and cause them to contract. A cluster of cells in the middle of the heart between the atria and ventricles the atrioventricular node acts like a gate that makes the electrical signal slow before it enters the ventricles. This delay allows the atria to have ample to contract before the ventricles contract. A pathway called the His-Purkinje network is a pathway of fibers that sends the impulse to the muscular walls of the ventricles, causing them to contract.
With the knowledge of how the heart beats it has been noted that when the body is at rest, a normal heart beats up to 50 – 99 times a minute. When partaking in exercise, having emotions, down with a fever and on medications the heart beats higher than normal that is over 100 beats per minute. (James Beckerman, 2016)
The heartbeat or pulse rate is one of the important vitals being checked in any health organization. Taking a pulse does not only measure the heart rate, but it also indicates the heart rhythm and the strength of the pulse with these measurements the doctors will be able to detect whether there is or is not an issue. The normal pulse of a healthy adult is ranges from 60 to 100 bpm. The pulse rate fluctuates, that is increases and increases depending on the activity being carried out or the body is at rest. It has been observed that females over the ages of 12 and above tend to have faster heart beats than males.
There are different ways of checking your pulse, one of the oldest and most conventional way of checking your pulse is to feel the beats by firmly pressing the arteries since blood is pumped out of the body through the arteries. Where the arteries can be felt or the pulse are at the side of the neck, the easiest is found at the wrist, inside your elbow.
Another way that was used for monitoring the heart rate was the electrocardiograph, this device was a galvanometric device that detects and records the minute differences in electric potential caused by heart action and occurring between different parts of the body. The electrocardiograph was used to detect heart diseases.
The new modern age monitors come in different types, for example the chest and wrist or even mobile phones like the SAMSUNG S6. From the first edition of plastic straps, water or liquid was required for the device to perform at an optimum level. Later on the units used have conductive smart fabric with microprocessors built into them these microprocessors analyze the electrocardiograph signal to determine the heart rate. Most recent devices use optics to measure the heartrate using infrared light. It works by an infrared light by an internal bulb, as the infrared light is absorbed by the blood, a sensor then measures how dark the infrared light is, if it is extremely dark due to the pulse causing a temporal increase in the amount of blood that is being carried through the measured area and that is counted as heart pulse.
Most of these products that read the important vitals of heart rate which can be called heart monitors are in the hospital or health facility. So any individual that wants to use the service has to go to the hospital or health facility and the other devices check vitals but do not give so much of a detailed review of your heart performance.
This project creates a bridge from client to doctor so clients can easily get detailed review from a professional on that individual’s heart performance
A microcontroller which is also known as MCU, which stands for microcontroller unit is a computer system on a chip that is used to carry out executable task on mini systems and other mini devices.
The Microcontroller unit contains an integrated processor, memory and programmable input or output peripherals, which are used to interact with elements in the chip.
The microcontroller unit is very different from a microprocessor which only contains a Central Processing Unit (CPU). (Ganssle & Mike, 2012)
Let us first define heart rate before discussing how it is measured. Heart rate is the speed of the heartbeat measured by the number of contractions of the heart per minute (bmp)
Heart rate varies according to different activities of the body. These activities include physical exercise, sleep, anxiety, stress, illness, and ingestion of drugs. These activities also influence the rate of absorption of oxygen and excretion of carbon dioxide which also influences the heart rate. (Amer, et al., 2014).
A fingerprint scanner is a technology that identifies and authenticates the fingerprints of an individual in order to grant or deny access to a computer system or a physical facility.
When the heart is beating, it pumps blood all through the body, this also changes the blood volume inside the finger artery. This fluctuation of blood can be detected through an optical sensing mechanism placed around the fingertip. The signal can be amplified further for the microcontroller to count the rate of fluctuation, which is actually the heart rate. The sensor unit consists of an infrared light-emitting-diode (IR LED) and a photo diode, placed side by side, and the fingertip is placed over the sensor assembly. The IR LED transmits an infrared light into the fingertip, a part of which is reflected back from the blood inside the finger arteries. The photo diode senses the portion of the light that is reflected back. The intensity of reflected light depends upon the blood volume inside the fingertip. So, every time the heart beats the amount of reflected infrared light changes, which can be detected by the photo diode. With a high gain amplifier, this little alteration in the amplitude of the reflected light can be converted into a pulse. (Rajbex, 2013)
This device is simply a device that supports communication between CPU board and external devices. This board can be used to send or receive messages which will be a big contribution to our project requirement for a client to be able to communicate the readings to a professional (Doctor), the GSM module will be very needed so this board is very important for the optimization of the project and overall performance.
From the Electrocardiograph it shows the elaborate process it takes to get a heart rate reading the whole process of putting electrodes on different parts of the skin so it will be easy to detect the pulse from the various muscles the electrodes had been placed on, this process will take a long time. Though the electrocardiograph was created a long time ago but the idea is still welcomed. But all the new heart rate monitors being created which are generally merged to a microcontroller board, are still complex for some individuals to handle. (Laukkanen RMT, 1998) Looking at some of the reviews and research carried out based on the succession of this projects shows that most of the heart measuring devices have common issue which is the usability level of these devices, they are not user friendly. These devices have too many buttons on them without propel description of what each of them mean, which is technical giving the severity of information level and education level individuals have.
Individual get to visit the hospitals because they can’t afford to go through the stress of using a complicated heart rate measurement device they bought already and getting to the hospital the procedures for registering at a health facility and seeing a medical officer are also time demanding which will force individuals that are really time conscious or impatient to tend to keep postponing their medical check-up because they will have to spend inconsiderable amount of time at the hospital.
Some other microcontroller heart rate monitoring devices are more technical or complicated to use considering the level of Knowledge of uneducated individuals.
Based on research on other projects the heart rate monitoring device has to use exactly one minute to get an accurate heart rate measurement which can be done at a faster rate considering time as a factor.
In others, projects the monitors made where made to just measure our heart beat, but individuals that are not medical practitioners or have no clue on how to read heart rate measurements will not be able to operate the device properly.
As seen therefore there is a great need to simplify heartrate monitoring devices so everyone would be able to use it so the rate of cardiovascular diseases drastically reduced.
This project, aim is to build a system that can monitor the heart rate of individuals and make usability of this heart rate measuring device simpler for uneducated individuals who seem to have issues measuring and reading their heart rate by themselves by providing a helper (the doctor) who will decipher the reading that was taken by the device and sent to the doctor for proper analysis and produce a more reader friendly report for the users.
The objectives of this project are:
- To design an algorithm that monitors the heartrate of an individual in thirty seconds.
- To review other works that are closely related to this project.
There will be a fingertip sensor that will read the heart beat from the fingertip using an Infrared Light Emitting Diode (IR LED) for thirty seconds from an LED sensor which sends the data to the microcontroller that will now convert the readings from thirty seconds to one minute so the result given will be beat per minute(bpm). The result is then sent to the screen and when the send button is pressed a message will be sent to the medical professional whose details will be programmed inside the device.
The project provides a user friendly method of measuring the heart beat even if the user is uneducated or educated he still gains help from a professional (doctor) who analysis the reading and provides a more understandable result.
The device produces result faster for further analysis.
This device captures and saves the reading at the particular time and sends it to a professional for proper analysis. It also provides three phases and a button:
Phase 1(up)- automatic send ON
Phase 2(middle)- OFF
Phase 3(down)- manual send ON.
It has one button on surface which is the send button.
This device supports a sim card that enables it send information from the reading to the professional analyst (the doctor).
The device will be an indoor device that will be used in homes, schools, hospitals, emergency health care, military facilities, charity health care tours.
The rate at which people go to the hospital because of heart related illnesses and diseases are due to the fact that they do not have constant checkups because the closest center to get a checkup will take the individual out of his comfort zone. But with the thirty seconds microcontroller finger print scanner connecting user and doctor, individuals can prevent bad heart conditions by regular checkups from the comfort of their homes, offices and institutions.
- The project will need good network coverage or signal to connect to the doctor.
- Chapter one: Background study, problem statement, aims and objectives, research methodology, scope of study, and project organization.
- Chapter two: Introduction, review of closely related topics conclusion on reviews
- Chapter three: System Analysis and Design Methodology, Instruction, Block Diagram, Explanation of different components, how they will be used and what they will be used for.
- Chapter four: System Implementation and Testing, explaining how the system works diagrammatically, limitations, outline of the different stages and challenges faced, manual.
Chapter five: Future Enhancement, Re