ROME, Italy – Smartphones can be used to detect atrial fibrillation with existing hardware, according to a study by the University of Turku, Finland. The study included 16 patients with atrial fibrillation from the Turku Heart Centre and a control group. A smartphone was placed on the chest of the patient, and accelerometer and gyroscope recordings were taken to acquire a heart signal. A measurement recording was taken, and the data was pre-processed by signal processing methods. Autocorrelation and spectral entropy were taken from the pre-processed data, and an algorithm was used to determine if the patient suffered from atrial fibrillation. The technology was able to detect atrial fibrillation with more than 95% sensitivity and specificity. “We measure the actual motion of the heart via miniature accelerometers and gyroscopes that are already installed on today’s smartphones,” said lead author Tero Koivisto in a press release. “No additional hardware is needed and people just need to install an app with the algorithm we developed.” Koivisto said people can perform the test with no assistance from medical staff. “Given the widespread use of smartphones, it has the potential to be used by large populations worldwide,” said Koivisto.
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