Signalife, Inc. has announced that it has successfully developed and tested a novel ECG recorder capable of real-time transmission of Champ Car driver heart rate data from the vehicle to the team's computers. The system was first tested June 22-24, 2007, during the Grand Prix of Cleveland.
In addition to real-time heart rate transmission, the Signalife device is capable of broadcasting single ECG channel data via vehicle telemetry system. Simultaneously with transmission, the novel ECG recorder can store three full clinical-bandwidth ECG channels in the internal recorder memory for later review by the physicians.
Continuous ECG recording with live transmission capability has never been previously done on open-cockpit race car drivers. As a leader in motorsport safety, the Champ Car World Series and its Medical Director Dr. Chris Pinderski along with Cleveland Clinic physician Dr. Jennifer Cummings wanted to monitor driver ECGs for possible heart rhythm abnormalities in high G-force impacts which may alter on-site treatment by safety and medical personnel. Dr. Pinderski stated: "We are always looking at ways to make racing safer for our drivers. This technology allows us to monitor our drivers more closely and helps us to improve our onsite treatment. Signalife has been a great partner throughout this process and we are very happy to continue to work with them."
The acquisition of electrocardiographic (ECG) data in the harsh environment of an open cockpit race car presents several challenges. To address these challenges, Signalife developed a novel ECG recorder capable of acquiring full clinical-bandwidth data from drivers participating in the Champ Car racing. "The data that we have been able to collect during development of this monitor is of high quality, especially considering harsh environment in which it is recorded," stated Dr. Cummings. "The monitor performed well at our first live heart rate telemetry test and I am excited to see how it develops even further this season." In addition to safety, the Champ Car drivers benefit from the recorded ECG data as they can better tailor physical training and improve their fitness level for the race.
Dr. Budimir Drakulic, Signalife CTO, stated: "We are grateful to Dr. Cummings from Cleveland Clinic for introducing us to this challenging problem. Dr. Pinderski and Dr. Cummings provided us with continuous medical guidelines during the device development. We are extremely satisfied with the performance of our technology in this challenging environment. Monitoring driver's ECG during a race from medical trailer is now a reality."