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Smart speaker system warns of possible heart failure

Ερευνητές στις ΗΠΑ βρήκαν μια νέα χρήση για τα «έξυπνα» ηχεία με τεχνητή νοημοσύνη: the remote monitoring for the first time of a person's heartbeat without any physical contact with a medical instrument.

The system emits continuous sounds into the room, which are not heard by the human ear, and - depending on how these sounds are reflected back to the speakers - can detect possible heart arrhythmia problems. The detection is done with the help of two artificial intelligence algorithms (machine learning) that help the system to distinguish normal from irregular pulses, based mainly on the movement of the chest during breathing and the corresponding vibrations in the skin, when the heart beats.

The researchers, led by Associate Professor Siam Golakota of the University of Washington School of Computer Science and Engineering, who published the paper in the journal Communication Biology, tested the system on 26 healthy people and 24 heart patients. , heart failure, etc.), showing that this has a performance commensurate with standard medical heart monitoring instruments.

Smart speakers, such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home, have already been shown to be able to remotely monitor potential health problems, such as a heart attack or a baby's cessation of breathing. The new study shows that they are able to "catch" even the subtle abnormalities in the heart rhythm of people who sit about half a meter in front of such a speaker.

Heart arrhythmias, which are often highly unpredictable and difficult to diagnose, can increase the risk of stroke and other problems. Thanks to the new system, if someone is worried about whether their heart rate is normal, they can sit near the smart speaker and get an immediate diagnosis. In the future, with the improvement of the method, something similar will be possible to do continuously, even when one is sleeping, something that will help doctors diagnose diseases such as sleep apnea.

"This is the future of cardiology, and the beauty of using such devices is that they are already in people's homes," said Arun Sridar, an assistant professor of cardiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

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