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This smartphone app can detect Atrial fibrillation strokes

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A new undisclosed smartphone app will be able to detect strokes. Atrial fibrillation, a common type of abnormal heart rhythm which ultimately leads to a stroke can be easily detected with your smartphone via an app. However, the new app will not be free.

According to a report published in the European Society of Cardiology journal, a group of researchers from University of Turku, Finland, has developed a low-cost app. It makes use of the smartphone’s accelerometer and gyroscope to detect atrial fibrillation with existing hardware.

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Commenting on the development, lead author Tero Koivisto, a vice-director of the Technology Research Centre (TRC), University of Turku, Finland disclosed that atrial fibrillation was a dangerous medical condition. The presence of this serious condition was found in two percent of the global community. It accounts for up to seven million strokes per year.

70 percent of strokes due to atrial fibrillation

In fact, around 70 percent of strokes are due to atrial fibrillation and they can be avoided with pre-emptive medication. Furthermore, atrial fibrillation often occurs randomly. The condition cannot be easily detected by visiting a doctor. It is difficult for doctors to identify the disease unless the patient observes any serious health issues.

Long-term monitoring required

To correctly detect Atrial fibrillation, patients will be required to monitor their heart on a long-term basis using a home-based equipment. This equipment is relatively large and expensive electrocardiogram (ECG). To identify the medical condition, patients require a patch or wires that are clumsy. Moreover, it requires continuous contact with electrodes which tends to irritate the skin.

According to researchers, the currently available methods for detection of atrial fibrillation are infeasible. It is difficult to monitor the condition of patients above 60 years.

The recently conducted study included 16 patients with atrial fibrillation in addition to 20 recordings from healthy people. The developed algorithm has been validated in such a way to enable a smartphone to detect atrial fibrillation without any add-on hardware.

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