posted at 15:50
Author: Ruth Reader
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 22:02:04 +0000
Researchers discover webcams can be used to diagnose abnormal heart rhythms
A new pilot study is taking an innovative approach to detecting irregular heartbeats, and they're calling it "FaceTime" for heart diagnoses. The results of the study were published online yesterday in the journal Heart Rhythm. Atrial fibrillation, a common form of abnormal heart rhythm, affects more than 3 million Americans. The study tested a new webcam based diagnostic tool for heart problems and was conducted by researchers at the University of Rochester's School of Medicine and Dentistry, and Xerox. Researchers programmed a webcam with a Xerox developed algorithm to scan participants faces for the slightest change in skin coloration. Researchers hooked 11 participants with atrial fibrillation up to an electrocardiogram, so they could measure the heart's electrical activity while the 15 second facial scans were being taken. Researchers from this study are in the process of putting together a much larger study using the same technology, but with a more diverse population including people both with and without atrial fibrillation. Ultimately the hope is that the technology could be refined to be able to detect other types of heart disease.

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