William Harvey Cardiovascular Chair

Software developed to enable the study of heart disease.

ProBiometrics is an English company, the main asset of which is a patent for an algorithm that allows you to calculate a number of key indicators of cardiac health and activity from an electrocardiogram. These indicators allow for the automatic detection of heart disease at an early stage. We have been fruitfully cooperating with this company since 2015, therefore, when ProBiometrics approached us with a proposal to create a service for their new WHCVC device, we gladly agreed. What is the WHCVC?

The WHCVC (William Harvey Cardiovascular Chair) is an innovative heart disease research device developed by ProBiometrics, the William Harvey Heart Center and Queen Mary’s University hospital in London. This service simplifies the process and reduces the time needed for an ECG to be taken. In the future, this device will significantly reduce both mortality and costs from cardiovascular disease.

Technologies

Java EE, Tomcat, Android SDK, Kotlin, Angular, Oracle, RabbitMQ

Objectives

To create a user-friendly device that reduces the time for an ECG examination and to meet all of the customer’s requirements we needed to:

  • Develop a service that, when connected to the device, reads the raw ECG data and derived metrics;
  • Simplify the process of the analysis of this data;
  • Derive the parameters of the electrocardiogram for the purpose of further diagnosis;
  • Develop a service allowing for the dynamic data analysis of the results;
  • Develop a mobile app based on the Android operating system.

Difficult challenges

In addition to product development, the creation of a service was fraught with legal challenges with regard to personal medical data. While working on the project, we found out that we had not taken into account some parts of European legislation, namely General Data Protection Regulation. This law required that we include consent to the storage of user information. We developed additional business processes to ensure compliance with the act and ensured compliance with the privacy policy. This additional work was completed within the original project deadlines.

The system required the continuous streaming of data from the WHCVC to the server which was then streamed onwards to the app. The system had to manage circumstances when the connection failed during transmission, buffering the data until the connection was restored to ensure that no data was lost.

Another important requirement was to ensure the scalability of the system, allowing up to 5000 patients to be screened concurrently. A classic approach using message queues was employed to achieve this.

Result

The result of our work was a software package which enabled continuous reading and analysis of an electrocardiogram. As a result of our collaboration with ProBiometrics:

  • we facilitated the process of ECG analysis;
  • the system allows doctors to review the data remotely;
  • as a result of the project, ProBiometrics was able to attract investors for the development of additional healthcare products.

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