Catherine Wong is a 17-year-old high school student from New Jersey who she is already making a name for herself in both the science and technology communities.
Wong has developed a Bluetooth-enabled device that allows for remote cardiac examination.
It all started with the annual Google Science Fair contest. Wong was a finalist, but she won National Public Radio's "Joe's Big Idea" video contest.
Her goal was to create a useful product for all the millions of people who have limited medical access but possess a cell phone that could test an
individual's heart. The device she made is like a portable electrocardiogram, or ECG/EKG, a test performed countless times every day in hospitals around the world.
"The purpose of this study was to design and evaluate a Bluetooth-enabled telemedical electrocardiograph prototype capable of transmitting an EKG image for remote
examination using a cellphone to determine prototype feasibility as a method for remote cardiac examination. electrocardiograph, a graphical display of minute
transthoracic voltage fluctuations due to heart muscle depolarization, requires amplification of the electrical signal and then a method of display.
Device construction involved creation of two separate components, a Bluetooth-enabled wireless transmitter with a microprocessor programmed
to read the EKG output for display on the cell-phone, and instrumentation amplification circuitry to amplify cardiac electrical activity.
The final cell-phone compatible wireless EKG prototypes successfully demonstrate the feasibility of the concept of remote cardiac EKG transmission over cellular
networks, and allowed for three-lead EKG images using multiple electrode placements to be saved and stored. It provides a cost-effective alternative to traditional,
non-portable EKG devices and telemedical systems, with low initial equipment requirements and flexibility for integration with digitized healthcare systems."
Cahterine Wong is a clever and ambitious student who wants to help people in need.
Wong received help from her high school physics teacher on the electrical engineering and Java programming aspects of her concept.
The teacher "let her borrow equipment and talked through the many problems with her. After months of building, testing and failure, she came up with a
working ECG that connected to a cellphone using Bluetooth wireless signals.
The heart rhythms are displayed on the phone's screen, thanks to a Java app that she wrote."
"I'm going to keep going on this project, making it smaller, cheaper, more durable," said Wong.
Her dream is to actually get it working for patients
in developing countries. "That's who I aimed the project at, and that's who I'm working for."