Student creates app for wearable heart rate sensor

This story was originally posted in the Fall 2015 Exemplar. View the magazine.

You’ve got to have heart. Under the guidance of a Wayne State University College of Engineering faculty member, Shiby George, an undergraduate electrical engineering major, trained herself to become a valuable member of a research team developing a wearable heart rate sensor for Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) of cardiac patients.

George created the Android smartphone application that connects to the sensor. “When Shiby joined my lab, she had virtually no experience in Android programming,” says Amar Basu, associate professor of electrical engineering and biomedical engineering. “Yet she agreed to build an app for our heart rate sensor. I am impressed with how she managed to learn Android programming on her own, including Bluetooth wireless, scrolling displays, material design and fundamental concepts. It’s a great example of how hard work and diligence pays off.”

Born in India and raised in Kuwait, George says her decision to attend Wayne State was a family matter. “When we became Michigan residents in 2012, I made up my mind to study in the U.S.,” she says. “My cousins went to Wayne State for their undergraduate degrees and they were like my peer mentors for my first semester here. They told me that Wayne State has a wonderful community of in-state and international students, and they talked highly about undergraduate research at this school.”

George, who recently began working as a peer leader at the Academic Success Center and is involved with Campus Crusade for Christ International, credits Basu for being “patient enough to give me six months of his time” while she learned Android app development.

Her goal now is to enter graduate school, with a concentration in engineering in the health care industry. “Being a minority gender in this field, I hope to inspire more women into research in engineering,” she says.

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