Heart Guard gadget analyses heartbeats

New device monitors real heartbeats, not 1990s drama with Nick Berry

Last night a PC saved my life. That's what heart patients might be saying if they had Latvian company Integris Ltd's new Heart Guard system.

This matchbox-sized device attaches to your chest with five electrodes and transmits heartbeat data wirelessly, in real time, to a nearby PDA or mobile phone for instant interpretation of the data.

The low-cost device is discreet enough to be worn 24 hours a day, recording, analysing and reporting not only the heart's rhythm and electrical activity but also the wearer's physical activity and body positions - making it possibly the ultimate fitness monitoring gadget.

Life saving technology

"If Heart Guard detects a problem, patients are alerted by means of vibration or a buzzer, prompting them to check their PC for further information and advice," says Juris Lauznis, Director of Integris. "At the very least, the device will help to monitor and manage a patient's condition – and it could even save a life."

The Heart Guard has just finished a 30-month trial and will soon be undergoing EU compliance and safety testing. It could be on sale as early as 2009.