CardieX subsidiary develops world’s first medically-reliable PPG sensor for smartwatches

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By Imelda Cotton - 
CardieX Atcor photoplethysmography PPG sensor smartwatches Mobvoi ASX CDX

Atcor’s technology could assist in the remote diagnosis and monitoring of COVID-19 complications such as hypertension and cardiovascular disease.


A wholly-owned subsidiary of CardieX (ASX: CDX) has become the world’s first company to develop a medically-reliable photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor product for smartwatches and other wearable devices.

Medical technology firm Atcor has been able to determine four unique and proprietary heart and arterial health features extracted for the first time in a medically-reliable form from a PPG sensor, and which are directly related to cardiovascular health.

PPG sensors consist of LED lights and photodetectors and are among the most widely used optical sensor arrays on wearable devices.

Through internal human studies in conjunction with Macquarie University, Atcor has been able to demonstrate these features through multiple PPG sensor colour spectrums, leveraging proprietary intellectual property based on its existing SphygmoCor algorithms.

CardieX said the breakthrough could assist in the effective remote diagnosis and monitoring of hypertension and cardiovascular disease, both of which are considered key complications for coronaviruses such as COVID-19.

“Hypertension is the single most prevalent disease in patients presenting with COVID-19.”

“The ability to remotely monitor heart and cardiovascular health using a wearable is fundamental to maintaining global population health in the ensuing post-COVID world,” CardieX stated.

Atcor’s discovery also marks a significant achievement on the path towards eventual clearance of these features by the United States’ Food and Drug Administration for use in clinical and consumer applications.

Joint agreement

Atcor’s findings will be presented to China-based artificial intelligence and consumer electronics company Mobvoi Information Technology Co, which is helping commercialise its ideas.

Mobvoi is the largest official Google partner in the Chinese market for smart wearable solutions to complement Google’s Wear OS platform, designed specifically for smartwatches and other wearables and provides an ecosystem of applications similar to Apple’s iOS operating environment.

In September, CardieX and Mobvoi inked a multi-year joint agreement to co-develop consumer wearable “smart heart health” applications and features for Mobvoi’s line of smartwatches.

Phase one of the agreement details the technology requirements for Mobvoi’s wearables and requires CardieX to provide the first stage of a plan for the consumer app and other features to integrate with the wearables.

Atcor’s development and associated algorithms marks the completion of phase one, with phase two focusing on operational, marketing and commercial plans.

Product demos

Atcor has also been invited to demonstrate its results to other major consumer wearables and technology companies.

“We are confident that no other company has been able to achieve these development outcomes, including industry leaders like Apple and Microsoft.”

“It further demonstrates the significance of this milestone for Atcor, the engineering talent in that company, and the value it will derive for [us] going forward,” CardieX proclaimed.