Creating a Wearable Heart Rate Monitor

Heart Rate Monitor

By Joseph Downing, Mouser Electronics

In recent years, the use of wearable devices has exploded across multiple markets, in large part because of their convenience and the plethora of information they can provide. Activity trackers such as Samsung’s Gear Fit2, medical devices like the Qardio®Arm blood pressure cuff, and even Under Armor’s UA SpeedForm® Gemini 3 Record-Equipped shoes are just a few examples. These devices can provide users with a variety of feedback, including sleep quality, VO2 levels, activity levels, and walking and running cadence, among other data points.

Designing wearable devices requires adding peripherals to sense and display various types of data as well as store and retrieve data in the cloud. This project uses the Pegasus Rapid Development Platform, from Maxim Integrated™ (Maxim), which eases development by integrating key peripherals into the development board along with into Maxim’s 700-MAXREFDES117# heart rate monitor reference design. Rounding out the project technologies, we use an Mbed operating system (OS) for cloud-based programming, Ubidots for cloud services, and Android Studio software for the cloud interface.

If you’re a designer (or a “DIYer”), using these integrated features, reference designs, and cloud programming tools will put you a step ahead at the starting line. The following sections identify necessary project materials and help you program the device, wire the development boards, compile and load the Android app, and transmit data to a cloud service.

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