The heart is a pump that is powered by electrical impulses. They cause the heart muscle to contract and pump blood through the aorta into the body. In a normal situation, those electrical impulses are fired at a regular pace. But how do you know if your heart beats at a regular (read: healthy) rhythm?
ECG: how the cardiologist measures your heart rhythm
Your doctor or cardiologist checks your heart rhythm with an electrocardiogram or ECG. This is a simple and painless examination. Ten electrodes that are attached to your body map the electrical currents that drive your heart.
An electrocardiogram (ECG) maps the electrical impulses of your heart.
PPG: how FibriCheck measures your heart rhythm
FibriCheck uses a different measurement technique. Our medical application does not focus on the electrical impulses themselves, but on their effect in the blood vessels. You see, the pumping blood flows from the heart put pressure on the blood vessel walls and cause temporary stretches.
With each pulse / heartbeat, the diameter ‘enlarges’, between two strokes the blood vessel ‘shrinks’ back to its original size. By illuminating your fingertip with the flash of the camera of your smartphone, we measure the small changes in the amount of blood that flows through these stretched blood vessels. The result is a photophlethysmogram or PPG.
A FibriCheck photophletysmogram (PPG) measures the expansion and contraction of the blood vessels with each heartbeat.