Researchers develop smartphone app to measure heart health
10 Sep 2017
Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have created an app designed to measure the health of a person’s heart.
The app, which the developers are now trying market, uses the camera on a smartphone to non-invasively provide information about a heart's health.
To test the app, clinical trials were conducted with 72 volunteers aged between 20 and 92 at an outpatient magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) facility.
A full account of the research has been published in the Journal of Critical Care Medicine.
The app works by inferring the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) of the heart by measuring the amount that the carotid artery displaces the skin of the neck as blood pumps through it, the researchers said.
LVEF represents the amount of blood in the heart that is pumped out with each beat. In a normal heart, this LVEF ranges from 50 to 70 percent. When the heart is weaker, less of the total amount of blood in the heart is pumped out with each beat, and the LVEF value is lower.
According to the researchers, LVEF is a key measure of heart health, one upon which physicians base diagnostic and therapeutic decisions.
Senior author on the study Mory Gharib said: "What is exciting about this study is that it shows our technique is as accurate as echocardiography at estimating LVEF when both are compared to the gold standard of cardiac MRI. This has the potential to revolutionise how doctors and patients can screen for and monitor heart disease both in the US and the developing world.”
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