Smart assistants can identify problems in our hearts

Having an assistant, such as Siri, Alexa, or Google, helps a lot of people entertain themselves, manage devices, get information, or even get a company. The point is that there are other utilities that are appearing, and detecting problems in the heart is one of them.

New research has indicated that Amazon's Alexa could be used to detect abnormal heart rhythms.

According to Researchers at the University of Washington, there is a way to detect irregular heartbeats without contact, and attendees could be used for this topic. They have created a system based on Artificial Intelligence that captures vibrations caused by nearby chest wall movements.

If we ever see this invention in practice, a doctor might ask us to approach our Alexa for measurement, which is very important in telemedicine, as it would not require other portable devices or specialized health hardware.

It was Arun Sridhar who was responsible for the study, which is summarized as follows:

Smart speakers can tell if you have an irregular heart rhythm, researchers say - The Washington Post

The system works by emitting audio signals in the room at a volume that humans cannot hear. As pulses bounce off the speaker, an algorithm works to identify heartbeat patterns generated from a human's chest wall. A second algorithm is then applied to determine the amount of time between two heartbeats.

These heartbeat intervals would help to see how our heart is working, something some portable devices already do, such as smartwatches, but what is being attempted is to perform this monitoring without contact, or with the minimum possible.

At the moment, 26 healthy participants and 24 hospitalized patients with various heart conditions have been tested, including atrial fibrillation and heart failure. The patients were evaluated in their hospital rooms at UW Medical Center in Seattle and compared to measurements performed with medical grade ECG monitors. Smart speaker readings turned out to be relatively accurate, only diverted from ECG readings by an amount that was "not medically relevant," according to the researchers.

Researchers used a developer version of Alexa with a low-quality speaker to test, and believe that more powerful ones could perform readings from further afield.

But the issue will go further, they believe AI can be used to detect signs of sleep apnea, so we're just taking the first steps in an impressive sector.

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