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An ECG shield with Red Pitaya

Tony Bauer, Chair for RF Engineering at Technische Universität Dresden has made a shield to transform Red Pitaya into an electrocardiogram. The shield amplifies the heartbeat signal and filters out the noise to produce an ECG graph like the one you can see below.


The DIY ECG Shield is based on the AD8232 instrumentation amplifier frontend. It serves three independent biosignal channels which can be used to capture and amplify signals in lower millivolt ranges. Due to the narrow bandwidth of the amplifier, environmental noise sources such as 50/60Hz humming from the power lines are highly suppressed. An additional circuit will monitor channel one of the amplifier and convert the r-spike (from the typical ECG QRS-complex) into a heartbeat signal. This signal is visible on a flashing LED and connected to a GPIO of the Pitaya for interrupt-based heart rate measuring capabilities. Along with this basic functionality, a lead-off detection, a shutdown interface and a freely programmable RGB Status LED are implemented as well. The three analogue channels are available at the slow ADC inputs of the Red Pitaya.



Here's what Tony Bauer has to say about the project: "The greatest thing about Red Pitaya is the dynamic of applications that can be covered. From quick automated measurements using SCPI to complex and critical FPGA based applications, everything is possible. On top of that, a fast and profession support and a growing community. Perfect tool for students and experts." 

This project is in an early state and will be refined with further hardware revisions.

Feel free to contact the developer at for more information.

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