A Smart Speaker Can Tell You About Your Heart Health.

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : March 10, 2021

Alexa, how is my health right now?

The researchers at the University of Washington state that the team has developed another way to check for the irregularities of the heartbeat in a contactless way using these ordinary smart speakers.

A Smart Speaker Can Tell You About Your Heart Health.

These analysts have come up with the AI-powered system, which relies on sonar technology that picks up the vibrations which are caused by the nearby chest wall movements in the body. Suppose they have ever deployed this heart tracking technology. In that case, they could enhance the way doctors can conduct telemedicine appointments by offering data that would require wearables, an in-person checkup or health hardware.

A Smart Speaker Can Tell You About Your Heart Health.

Their goal is to find the way to use these devices, which people already possess, have an edge in health monitoring and in cardiology in the future, as per Arun Sridhar, who works at UW School of Medicine as an assistant professor of cardiology. The team has published their findings on Tuesday.

Experts also have Alexa and Google in everyone’s and in our homes and all around us. They predominantly had used it to wake the team by playing music or in the morning, as said by Shyam Gollakota, who is the co-author of this report and UW computer science professor. The question we have been asking around is, can everyone employ this smart speaker for something quite useful. Smartphones that makers might integrate with the technology into the products which are already in the market through software updates as per what the researchers say.

This system works through the technology and emits audio signals into a room at a volume which humans cannot hear. As these pulses bounce back from the speaker, the algorithm works by identifying the beating patterns which are generated from a person’s chest wall. The second algorithm will then be applied to check the span of time between 2 heartbeats.

This information, called inter-beat intervals, might help the doctors in gauging how well a person’s heart is working. Researchers have trained these speakers to pick up irregular and regular heart rhythms.

This concept of tracking the patients’ health remotely is not new. Wearable devices like smartwatches are increasingly added to wellness tools in many years. But this contactless monitoring of health is quite new and a frontier that might prove valuable when one is not wearing any device or if one is not experiencing the triggering symptoms in case of a medical emergency.

This research project of the smart speaker has started in the year 2019, but it was held up since the pandemic. The analysts picked various things up late last year. They also tested out the software on 24 patients who are hospitalized with different cardiac conditions, which included heart failure & atrial fibrillation and 26 healthy participants.

Healthy patients had been tested in their office rooms, and the cardiac patients were tested at the UW Medical Center in Seattle in the hospital rooms.

These specialists have then compared these smart speaker findings with the results from medical-grade ECG monitors. These smart speakers’ findings have turned out to be accurate relatively, only different from the ECG readings in a not medically relevant portion, as said by the researchers.

This system is set up for spot checks. If anyone wants a reading, you would have to sit in a range of two feet from the speaker and let it work.

These researchers have it in the developer version of the Alexa with very low-quality speakers for conducting their tests. They say that the speakers with the mainstream devices might be much more powerful.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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