Early Detection of Stroke Can Be Done Using A Smartphone App

First Posted: Aug 31, 2016 05:42 AM EDT

These days, there is an app for almost everything. And that includes early detection of stroke. Researchers from Finland developed a detection method for early signs stroke by just using a smartphone app.

Economic Times reported a group of researchers based in University of Turku, Finland who published a research that used existing accelerometer and gyroscope sensors in a smartphone to detect atrial fibrillation, an abnormal cardiac rhythm which usually leads to stroke. The scientists created an algorithm from  16 recordings of patients with atrial fibrillation and 20 from patients with healthy and normal cardiac rhythm. This algorithm is then compared to the data gathered by the sensors of the smartphone.

Lead author of the research and vice-director of the technology Research Centre in University of Turku, Tero Koivisto said in an interview "Atrial fibrillation is a dangerous medical condition present in two per cent of the global population and accounting for up to seven million strokes per year."

Normally, early discovery of stroke through atrial fibrillation requires electrocardiogram (ECG) which is inconvenient and unavailable to most patients especially those who are at risk demographic group (60 years old and above). It is also very expensive and not practical since atrial fibrillation is too random to be accurately detected. Because of this innovation, it significantly cuts cost since the hardware requirement using the app is already present in modern smartphones of today. It can also be more convenient and can easily be operated by someone even without any medical background. 

"We measured the actual motion of the heart via miniature accelerometers and gyroscopes that are already installed in smartphones. No additional hardware is needed and people just need to install an app with the algorithm we developed," Tero Koivisto added. 

This research was published in the journal of European Society of Cardiology.

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