The microphones of cell phones they could help monitor the heart and thus prevent heart problems. This was one of the novelties announced by the Mountain View giant at its event Google Health The Check Upwhere new research areas related to artificial intelligence (AI) were announced, and where TechMarkup was present.
They are tools that aim to help doctors to better perform their care tasks.
The built-in microphones of a smartphone could record the sounds of a user’s heart when placed on the chest. The company is investigating the scope of this technology. This is an initiative that is in the testing stage but could soon be extended.
“We hope that our work can train people to use the smartphone as an additional tool in health assessment,” they stressed from Googleat an event for the media in which he participated TechMarkup.
Auscultation, a medical practice that involves listening to a person’s heart and lungs with a stethoscope, is a key part of any routine physical exam. This can help doctors identify heart valve disorders, such as aortic stenosis, that is, when the aortic valve does not open completely, which decreases the flow of blood from the heart. Early diagnosis of this condition is essential for the patient’s health.
Of course, to perform this type of practice you need a stethoscope. With this new development designed for mobile, the aim is to create a monitoring and diagnostic tool that is easy to use and more inclusive. The smartphone has a high penetration in the population, so using it as an additional diagnostic tool could facilitate and optimize the task of doctors that they will be able to reach a larger population, in a short time.
Another novelty presented by the computer giant is linked to vision care. “One of our first health AI projects, ARDA, aims to help tackle diabetic retinopathy screening,” they announced.
Automated Retinal Disease Assessment, or ARDA, uses artificial intelligence to help doctors detect diabetic retinopathy which can lead to blindness if not treated early. The idea is that in the future this technology will also serve to diagnose other diseases.
The company reported that they recently conducted a study with the national screening program for this pathology in Thailand and concluded that the ARDA system is accurate and can be safely implemented in multiple regions. It is a reliable and accessible solution for users.
Previously, Google showed how photos of the inside of the eyes can reveal cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood sugar and cholesterol levels. All this information could be processed thanks to deep learning systems.
In this latest research, the detection of diabetes-related diseases from photographs of the outside of the eye was analyzed, using the cameras used in clinics.
“As early results are promising, we are looking forward to clinical research with partners including EyePACS and Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (CGMH) to investigate whether photos from smartphone cameras can help detect diabetes-related diseases from external photos of the eye as well”, they underline from the company.
This project is also in the early stages of research and development, but everything indicates that progress will continue along this line and promising results could soon arrive.
The search engine and news to improve searches related to health
Google also announced that the search engine was optimized so that users in the US find more relevant information about their health providers.
“The search team recently launched features to help people navigate the complex healthcare system and make more informed decisions.s, like finding health care providers that accept your insurance,” was mentioned at the meeting.
Among the new features is a feature that shows the availability that health care providers have so that the user can easily book an appointment.
It should be noted that it is a tool that is currently available on a limited basis, in the United States. In the future, the idea is to expand the functions so that this service has a greater scope.
Fitbit and a tool for heart monitoring
Another of the announcements was related to Fitbit, which received authorization from regulatory entities both in the United States (FDA) and in Europe (CE) for the application of electrocardiogram (ECG)which is used to identify atrial fibrillation, a condition that affects more than 33.5 million people worldwide.
Fitbit conducted a major clinical trial in the US that tested the algorithm’s ability to accurately detect atrial fibrillation from normal heart rhythm and generate an ECG trace, the recording of a heart’s electrical energy. The report showed that the algorithm had the ability to detect 98.7% of atrial fibrillation cases and was 100% accurate in identifying study participants with normal sinus rhythm.
Fitbit’s new device ECG app helps analyze your heart rhythm for signs of atrial fibrillation. In this way, the platform offers a tool for users to take an on-the-spot reading of their heart rate at any time.
Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death worldwide, despite being one of the most preventable conditions. Latrial fibrillation, an irregular heart rhythm that increases the risk of serious complications such as stroke, can be particularly difficult to detectas episodes may sometimes show no symptoms.
Some studies suggest that up to 25 percent of people who have atrial fibrillation-related stroke find out they have atrial fibrillation only after a stroke has occurred, they note in the released statement.