Biomedical Signal Analysis

Nowdays nobody doubts about the importance of technology in health care: from large systems of medical imaging to microcameras, from surgical lasers to smart prostheses, from neuromuscular stimulation systems to new biocompatible materials … the list would not end.

In particular, the miniaturization of electronics achieved in recent decades, along with the development of sensors, has allowed the irruption in the last years of automatic measuring devices and, in many cases, also ambulatory of a multitude of physiological variables (activity, temperature, glucose levels or blood oxygen, blood pressure …).

These devices allow you to obtain information in the real life conditions of the person and in a continuous way. The analysis of these signs is calling into question some of the established medical truths and even to modify the definition of health and illness.

At atlanTTic we work in the research line of biomedical signal analysis, focusing R & D activity on the development and application of statistical methodology and signal processing to improve people’s health. Researchers at the Bioengineering and Chronobiology Laboratory focus on advanced research on:

Lines of Research

Líñas de Investigación

Chronobiology and chronotherapy in the cardiovascular system

The functioning of the cardiovascular system works depends on a lot of physiological factors. Many of them have a marked and well-known circadian variability (daily period), so it is not surprising that this is also present in the cardiovascular system itself and that pharmacological treatments can act differently depending on the time of day they are administered ( Chronotherapy).

In the Bioengineering and Chronobiology Laboratory we have been developing new methods of characterization and analysis of different physiological variables for years. The application of this methodology to variables related to the cardiovascular system demonstrated the importance of chronotherapy in the management of hypertension.

Diagnosis of hypertension

The availability of outpatient blood pressure measurement devices, which allow obtaining values in a continuous way and in ordinary living conditions, allows for a more accurate characterization of the blood pressure signal and extracting parameters that reflect cardiovascular risk much more precisely than To conventional isolated measure. On the other hand, the analysis of the waveform of the blood pressure allows to optimize the moment of the antihypertensive treatment of personalized way and defining objective parameters of effectiveness.

The Bioengineering and Chronobiology Laboratory coordinates the Hygia network, which focuses on the diagnosis and control of hypertension and the prevention of cardiovascular problems. The network includes researchers from more than 30 Galician health centers and hospitals.

Evaluation of antihypertensive drugs

The pharmacopoeia existing in the antihypertensive domain is extremely abundant. Different families, with different operating principles, dosages and coverages, with different interactions and side effects, and in many situations in preparations that combine two or more different active ingredients.

Beyond its own studies carried out by the pharmaceutical companies, the Bioengineering and Chronobiology Laboratory demonstrated the different action of antihypertensive medications, equal dose, simply modifying the time of administration and adapting it to the circadian profile of the patient’s blood pressure. These differences were found in different active principles of different families, even in medications that are not considered antihypertensive per se, such as aspirin.

Early detection of hypertensive problems during pregnancy

The physiology of women undergoes major changes during gestation. These changes are also reflected in the predictable variations that occur during a pregnancy without complications. The analysis of the information on the blood pressure signals collected in an outpatient manner, even during the first trimester of pregnancy, allows the detection of deviations from normalcy early, allowing therapeutic action many weeks before the effects are evident and put at risk The health of the mother and the fetus.

Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease

It is well known that renal impairment and some metabolic dysfunctions, diabetes, for example, have an impact on the cardiovascular system, in general, and on blood pressure, in particular. But the reverse is also true: hypertension can end up causing structural damage that causes or aggravates other conditions.

Recent work by the Bioengineering and Chronobiology Laboratory confirms that adequate and early control of hypertension reduces the risk of developing kidney disease or diabetes.

Research Groups

Bioengineering and Chronobiology Laboratory (LBC)

In addition to computers for the handling and processing of the information, there are monitors for the ambulatory blood pressure measurement, activators for registering motor activity and outpatient devices for the automatic and non-invasive acquisition of multiple signals (electrocardiogram, oxygen saturation in blood, respiration …).

atlanTTic provides more than 80m2 applied research to the Biomedical Signal Analysis area, with a number of laboratories that act as support for the research activity developed by the team dedicated to this line of research, in addition the team is made up of researchers, doctors and engineers. Our research facilities are located in E.E. De Telecomunicación (Vigo) as a pioneering location and a national leader in its field of specialization.

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Cardiovascular risk
  • Pregnancy
  • Ambulatory monitoring
  • Circadian rhythms
  • Chronobiology
  • Chronotherapy
  • Signal processing
Method and system for activity / rest identification
Summary The periods of activity and rest of a person have direct influence on a multitude of physiological parameters of clinical interest. That is why it is important to be able to determine them accurately and objectively.

This patent describes an automatic system, based on the processing of the signal obtained by means of pulse activation, with which the objective sought is reached.

Application and pros Any biomedical application that requires the identification of the cycles of activity and rest of the patient, without inaccuracies or bias.
Application sectors Health, sport
Intellectual property Patent granted
System for clinical research and clinical management of cardiovascular risk using ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and actigraphy
Summary Blood pressure in humans shows predictable variability, especially over the course of 24 hours. This information, combined with other more classic parameters, allows the diagnosis and prognosis of a patient’s cardiovascular risk.

This patent describes a system that allows the patient’s information to be collected in a homogeneous and remote manner and presents a detailed analysis of the blood pressure profile, allowing a more accurate assessment of their cardiovascular risk.

This information, in a private way for each user, will be accessible at any time, through standardized reports, thus facilitating the study of the evolution of patients.

Application and pros For any body or institution that wishes to have better control of the cardiovascular risk of its patients, as well as an objective assessment of the treatments applied.
Application sectors Health
Intellectual property Patent granted
Spin-off creation Circadian Ambulatory Technology & Diagnostics
Summary Creation of a company, owned by the University of Vigo, with the objective of exploiting the outcomes with the greatest impact.
Application and pros The results obtained allow early detection of cardiovascular problems. The impact of its implementation in a health system could have an impact on better detection of diseases and a significant reduction of associated costs.
Application sectors Cardiovascular risk.
Intellectual property N/A