Integrated Home Monitoring and Compliance Optimization for Patients with Mechanical Circulatory Support Devices

  • Lars Klack
  • Thomas Schmitz-Rode
  • Wiktoria Wilkowska
  • Kai Kasugai
  • Felix Heidrich
  • Martina Ziefle


This article presents an integrated, automatic home-monitoring, and assist system for patients suffering from end-stage heart failure, particularly patients with implanted mechanical circulatory support devices, such as ventricular assist devices and total artificial hearts. The system incorporates various biosensors to monitor the vital parameters of the patient unobtrusively in the home environment. Recorded data can be accessed online and in real time by a supervising physician, and these data serve as a means for immediate diagnosis of emergency events. The retrieved information can also be continuously analyzed to generate suggestions for medication, nutrition, and exercise for the patient to optimize their rehabilitation and overall health. An experimental environment (the Future Care Lab) was set up at RWTH Aachen University to serve as a testing environment for the development and evaluation of this novel integrated system. The Future Care Lab was not only used as a platform for technically testing the monitoring system, but also more concretely demonstrating to users the integration of these new medical technologies in a home. Thus, the Future Care Lab provides a unique environment for an interdisciplinary research approach consisting of iterative cycles of system development and evaluation of user acceptance.


MCSD Heart failure Aftercare Biosensors 



The authors thank Hilde Bollen, Daniela Roefe, and Joachim Cantow for their advice. In addition, many thanks go to Sarah Mennicken for her inspiration in the conceptualization of the system software, and Gina Joue for her valuable comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. Special thanks go to Alexa Du Jardin.


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Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lars Klack
    • 1
  • Thomas Schmitz-Rode
    • 1
  • Wiktoria Wilkowska
    • 1
  • Kai Kasugai
    • 1
  • Felix Heidrich
    • 1
  • Martina Ziefle
    • 1
  1. 1.Communication Science, Human Technology CentreRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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