Currently, the electrocardiogram is the only validated non-invasive tool we have for studying cardiac electrical activity. It has changed very little since its invention in the early twentieth century: nine electrodes are arranged on the skin at the patients’ ankles, wrists and chest.
The signal processing team uses a new method of non-invasive three-dimensional mapping of cardiac electrical activity. The patient is equipped with a vest containing 250 electrodes covering the entire surface of the thorax and thus collecting point-by-point electrical activity at the body surface. Coupled with a scanner or an MRI showing heart and thorax anatomy, and using mathematical algorithms for solving the inverse problem and signal processing techniques, a dynamic, three-dimensional view of cardiac electrical signals is then reconstituted in real time. Both highly accurate and non-invasive, it is the electrocardiogram of the future. Without using invasive catheters, this system offers a panoramic view of the activity of the entire heart from just a single heartbeat. In this way, arrhythmia mechanisms are identified to better treat them. The first results, published in a high-ranking international journal, highlight the electrophysiological mechanisms of persistent atrial fibrillation and ventricular fibrillation.