Here’s How Any Smartphone Can Detect Atrial Fibrillation

Here’s How Any Smartphone Can Detect Atrial Fibrillation

You can now check to see if your suspected irregular heart beat is the real thing, in your own home.

Suffering from atrial fibrillation- an irregular and possibly rapid heart rate- isn’t common. It only affects about 2% of the population worldwide.

But according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, in developed countries it’s the most common type of arrhythmia and the older you get, the greater your chances are of developing it.

The bad news is that having atrial fibrillation can greatly increase your chances of suffering from a stroke.

In addition to this, it can occur randomly on and off, and if you’re not having an episode when you visit the doctor for a check-up, your condition can go completely undetected.

Related: Here’s How Bilingualism Makes You Twice as Likely to Recover From a Stroke

Which is too bad…because experts say that around 70% of people who do suffer from a stroke as a result of atrial fibrillation could have prevented it by taking medication.

With the advent of smartphones though, all that is changing.

Traditionally, patients who think they have an irregular heart beat need to take home a large (and costly) electrocardiogram (ECG) device, and use it to monitor their heart’s activity over a longer period of time.

With smartphones though, you can now test yourself easily for the condition.

The App

How? Just lie down, place your phone on your chest, take a measurement and use the app developed by scientists at the University of Turku, Finland, to analyze the results.

The study’s lead author, Tero Koivisto, stated: “This is a low cost, non-invasive way to detect atrial fibrillation that people can do themselves without any help from medical staff. Given the widespread use of smartphones, it has the potential to be used by large populations worldwide.”

Amazingly, using this simple technology can detected atrial fibrillation more than 95% of the time. It uses the miniature accelerometers and gyroscopes that are already a part of today’s smartphones to measure your cardiac status.

For more information click here. The app is said to be coming to the public sometime in 2017.

Photo credits: cdonofrio/Bigstock

 

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