Heart not beating quite right? There’s an app for that.
Researchers for medical device company HealthSTATS International — in association with University College London — have patented the software behind what they claim to be the world’s first app to test for erratic heartbeats.
Called AFDetect, the app uses a smartphone’s in-built camera and flash light function to detect a person’s pulse — which is then analyzed for a problem called atrial fibrillation.
This disorder, which results in a person being more prone to suffering from clots, and can lead to strokes or heart failure, is actually fairly common: with one in four adults over the age of 40 developing it at some point during their lifetime.
Although hospitals can test for the disorder using an ECG, this process can be time-consuming — and may be missed altogether if the patient does not realize anything is wrong, or if the palpitations do not happen when they are tested by a doctor.
Although this app is designed for smartphones, it does hint at the amazing possibilities offered by wearable electronics: an area both Google and Apple have shown themselves to be very interested in.
AFDetect is currently available for Android users, while an iPhone version is expected to be launched sometime in January.