This article provides everything you need to know to start recording data with your BITalino Electrocardiography (ECG) sensor, sold in two different versions: UC-E6 and assembled (Fig.1).
Fig.1: BITalino ECG sensor, UC-E6 (left) and assembled (right) versions
Connecting Your Sensor
If you are getting started with the BITalino ECG UC-E6 sensor version, you need to connect your sensor to one of the analog (An, where n ranges from 1 to 6) channels available in the BITalino Core (MCU+BLE/ BT +Power) unit as shown in Fig.2. To acquire the signal you must connect the EMG UC-E6 sensor to the main board trough a sensor cable and the sensor to the body through a 3-lead electrode cable
Fig. 2: How ECG UC-E6 sensor must be connected to the BITalino Core Unit
Alternatively, you can connect your ECG UC -E6 sensor to an Arduino device. For this suggestion we advise you to read this support article.
When you start with the ECG assembled version, your sensor is already connected to a 3-lead electrode cable in a 3D printed housing, making the hardware set-up easier to the user. This sensor version is usually combined with the Assembled BITalino Core BLE/BT (see Fig. 3). If this is your use case, you can connect your sensor to one of the available analog (An, where n ranges from 1 to 6) channels highlighted in the back of the device (Fig. 3).
Fig 3.: Representation of how ECG assembled sensor is connected to the BITalino assembled core unit.
Placing Your Electrodes
Our ECG sensors are measured using a bipolar configuration which means that two measuring electrodes with a positive (IN+) and a negative (IN-) lead are placed on the body to measure the voltage differences with respect to a reference (REF) (see Fig.3).
To acquire an ECG signal with BITalino sensors you must follow the Einthoven leads I-III. You can learn more about the different sensor positioning in “Where should I place my Electrocardiography (ECG) electrodes?” support article.
For ensuring the best conditions for high-quality signal acquisitions we recommend the following steps for your electrode placement:
- Skin Preparation: Follow our Skin Preparation Tutorial to ensure best skin conditions for ECG acquisitions
- Electrodes: Ensure that you are using a new pair of electrodes when using disposable electrodes or to properly clean your reusable electrodes before use
- Measuring Electrodes Placement: Place the electrodes according to Einthoven leads I-III configuration.
- Reference Electrode: The reference electrode must be placed in a region of low muscular activity, optimally on a bone (see the Einthoven leads I-III triangle)
To learn more about the electrode positioning and the ECG signal acquisition you can try some of the exercises proposed in our ECG Home Guide.
Setting Up OpenSignals
This setup is compatible with our OpenSignals software which you can download for free.
To setup your device and sensor, enter the OpenSignals device manager by clicking on the icon highlighted below.
Click on the device panel of your device (make sure your device is turned on) and click on the READ SENSORS icon to setup your device. After a few seconds, your sensor should be listed in the device panel with the channel port matching the port to which you connected your sensor to the biosignalsplux hub.
Activate your device for acquisition by ensure that the ENABLED button is blue (click on it if it is in grey).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What electrodes can I use the sensor with?
f you are inexperienced with signal acquisitions, we recommend starting off with the disposable electrodes due to their easy-of-use and greater signal quality. You can find more detailed information in the following article:
What signal processing software do you provide for the ECG sensor
You can use our Heart Rate Variability (HRV)Add-On to process your ECG data.
Do you know any open-source software for biosignal processing?
We have gathered a list of open-source solutions by programming language with biosignal processing features that might be a suitable choice to support your work.