Amazon Alexa could be the key to determine if a person has irregular heartbeats. Moreover, At the University at The Evergreen state, researchers are at work on a program that could potentially allow the Amazon Alexa smart speakers to reveal irregular heartbeats, thereby potentially save lives.
Used in detecting healthcare issues in the past, smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and the Google Home have been beneficial. But nothing quite like what can be used with Amazon Alexa. Moreover, the idea is touting to be simple to explain. Though, much more difficult to implement in practice. The UW’s program does have a speaker emit an inaudible sound. Which then does ping off the user’s body. In fact, the device does pick up the sound as it bounces back. Thereby, it can determine the user’s heart rate. That is if their heart is beating irregularly.
The team has built a working prototype speaker that does just that to demonstrate the technology.
Moreover, if this new technology was in fact integrated into existing Amazon Echo or Google Home systems, it could help save lives, the University of Medicine says.
“More common than some other well-known heart conditions are heart-rhythm disorders,” said co-senior author Dr. Arun Sridhar. “Cardiac arrhythmias can be highly unpredictable in occurrence and cause massive morbidities. Therefore, they are difficult to diagnose. If there was a low-cost test available that can be performed often and at the convenience of home, it can be a real game-changer for particular patients in terms of early diagnosis and management.”
At present, the current system does requires the user to sit still in front of the smart speaker. Yet, the team is hopeful that in the future, it would be used from farther away, to constantly monitor the user’s heartbeat as they go on with their lives.