Young Scientists

Scientist and entrepreneur - 8. Arthur Zang: a fruitful internship

Arthur Zang was still a student engineer when he began to develop a remote electrocardiography device.

"In 2009 I was a student at the École Polytechnique de Yaoundé and I was keen to use my engineering skills to develop medical applications. So I decided to do an internship at Yaoundé General Hospital, in the Cardiology Department, where I met Professor Samuel Kingué (on the photo), who introduced me to digital processing of the heart signal.

A set of formulas is applied to the cardiac signal to extract the informations useful to its interpretation, to know if the heart is functioning normally.

We worked a lot with Professor Kingué, and my engineering thesis at the École Polytechnique de Yaoundé in 2010 focused on the development of a software program, a screenshot of which you have here. It was used to record a heart signal, detect heartbeats, calculate heart rate and transfer these data for remote interpretation in order to perform cardiac examinations for a patient in a hospital and obtain their interpretation even if the cardiologist was not there.

After this engineering thesis, I enrolled in a pre-doctoral research program at the École Polytechnique. My aim was to provide a complete equipment, that would integrate both software and hardware so that the software wouldn't have to be loaded on a computer.

Here are the first two papers we published. A first article on the digital processing of the heart signal: detection of heartbeats, filtering, calculation of intervals between heartbeats and also the transmission of the signal. When a heart signal is transferred, for example using Bluetooth from a sensor to a phone, what are the results? Is it possible to accurately transfer all parts of the signal?

After these two papers, we started the Cardiopad prototype development. We get a bank loan of 600,000 CFA francs in Cameroon, which enabled us to order the various equipment required to assemble the prototype. We completed the prototype, that you can see here, in December 2011.

Then, we performed a demonstration and we started promoting the project, which later gave birth to a company. This is the first team we gathered, a year and a half after the beginning of the pre-doctoral programme, to go on developing the device and make it available to hospitals."


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