Kitron, Appsens Aim to Prevent Stroke with Heart Sensor


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Appsens developed a product that helps detect heart fibrillation early so that stroke can be avoided. It's also good to use for people with high blood pressure and diabetes. Stroke costs Norwegian society around NOK 8 billion each year. The app and sensor can thus save the state large sums if it helps prevent disease. Kitron supported Appsens in development of robotic production line and industrialization of product. 

Kitron and Appsens hope thousands of people at risk will adopt their newly developed sensor and app to reveal heart problems at an early stage. ECG247, as the product is called, was aslo developed in cooperation with researchers from the University of Agder and Sørlandet Hospital Arendal. The goal is for the product to be available to as many people as possible by the country's 5,000 GPs, pharmacists and online stores.

The product is two-piece and consists of a capsule with a sensor and a patch. They are assembled together and fixed on the chest. The heart rate measurement sent continuously to the app on the phone starts and is promptly notified if irregularities are detected.

Kitron has designed a fully automatic production line, where a collaborating robot works with different tools. Kitron has also developed an effective test system for this product. “The heart of Appsens' product lies in electronics. Kitron and Appsens have collaborated on optimizing the design and properties of circuit boards with associated unique and standard components. According to current EU requirements for medical devices (MDD), the sensor is certified, and there have been strict requirements for performance and robustness. The right choice of components has been essential for achieving quality and cost-efficiency," says Stian Haugen, CTO at Kitron Group. 

The creators add that there are competitors on the market. Still, their advantage is that the user is immediately notified by the app if something is found wrong.

The sensor electronics are produced by Kitron in Arendal and the enclosure of the Toolmaker in Lillesand. Innovation Norway and Agder Næringsselskap have also contributed to support during the development phase.

"This is a very significant product with great potential. We are pleased that we can be a part of this and have had a great desire to contribute. It is exciting to work with Appsens," says Stian Haugen.

With robotics, Kitron has built up a fully automated production line for Appsens with the possibility of producing a large number of sensors in a short time. Kitron has collaborated with UiA over time and the developers of this project have been recruited from this community.

"It is great that this product, with a few exceptions, has been developed in Southern Norway. It is also produced here," says the Appsens leaders together with Kitron's CTO Stian Haugen.

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