Medical science has come a long way when it comes to heart health. Improvements in surgery and care have led to a greater survival rate for heart disease victims. But once a person has one heart attack, they’re left vulnerable to another. And the second one could be much worse. So, there are more and more heart patients who need some kind of monitoring. A genius device has been developed that could allow heart attack patients freedom of movement while still being safely monitored for future heart attacks. And it involves a cell phone.
According to the American Heart Association, in 2004, 79,400,000 Americans had some type of cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVD is an umbrella term for several diseases affecting the cardiovascular system, including the heart, arteries, and veins. A major example of CVD is “atherosclerosis,” which is a disease involving the hardening of arteries due to accumulation of plaque that can eventually lead to a stroke, heart attack, or congestive heart failure. Out of people with CVD, 7,900,000 had an acute heart attack. Even though there have been many advancements in heart disease treatment, it is still the number one most dangerous disease in the country.
So, scientists in India have come up with a way to help protect heart patients from having a fatal heart attack. Researchers from Sathyabama University have developed a device called the “Wearable Cardiac Telemedicine System.” It’s a wearable device that connects wirelessly to the person’s cell phone. The device monitors the wearer’s heart by taking regular electrocardiograms (ECG). It sends the data to the specially modified cell phone using “Bluetooth” technology. The phone analyzes the ECG information. If an approaching heart attack or heart failure is indicated, the phone sends a text message to the nearest emergency medical facility. Then medical help can be sent out right away.
The device prototype has been tested. Results so far are very positive. The researchers are working on improving the technology. For example, they’d like to add Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to the special cell phone. This would help emergency services locate the patient more quickly.
This device could be invaluable in preventing fatal heart attacks. It could detect the signs early enough and transmit them quickly. This could result in the heart attack victim receiving help in the crucial hour after the event begins. This would increase a person’s chances of surviving a heart attack by quite a bit. The wearable telemedicine device would also improve the quality of life of heart patients. After having surgery or receiving acute care for one heart attack, a patient often has to be hooked up to monitors by wires. This monitoring is very important. But it also impedes a person’s ability to get back to a normal life. With the wireless device, the heart patient won’t be so limited. And they’ll feel better not being confined to a room or hooked up to wires.