The front-end module, consisting of (1) microcontroller and transceiver board and (2) signal conditioning board. (Credit: NYIT)

A first-of-its-kind portable wireless device can monitor stomach motility to enable physicians to measure and ultimately better understand slow wave activity. It will help doctors treat the potentially debilitating condition known as gastroparesis, which results when stomach muscle contractions function abnormally, causing the stomach’s contents to empty too slowly.

The system can help better clinician's understand the effect of electrical stimulation on gastric contractions and examine a variety of hypotheses about the gastric activity. The system consists of a portable module that can wirelessly transmit data to a back-end receiver connected to a PC to display and store it for off-line analysis. The device can also log data on a memory card for long-term monitoring.

In a study, patients received two temporary electrodes and leads via endoscopy prior to having a permanent stimulator. One of the leads connected to the gastric stimulator; the other to the developed recording system. The gastric waves were recorded wirelessly for about 10 minutes before and after turning on the stimulator. Each patient received the developed portable module, set in data-logging mode. After five days, signals were recorded and analyzed successfully in terms of frequency and amplitudes. The frequency, amplitude, and shape of the short waves varied between the patients, and for each patient, varied depending on fed- and fast-states.