Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Detection of potentially deadly atrial fibrillation dramatically improved by new algorithm

20.05.2010
Developed by a researcher at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the algorithm, which detects AF with an accuracy of 95 percent, is a key component of new technology from ScottCare Corporation that enables real-time, accurate detection of AF episodes

An algorithm developed by Ki H. Chon, PhD, head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), in partnership with Snehraj Merchant of The ScottCare Corporation, makes it possible for a new heart monitoring system to detect incidents of atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common form of cardiac arrhythmia, far more accurately than previous methods.

The algorithm, utilized in the new ScottCare CardioView Dx Suite, detects AF episodes with an accuracy of 95 percent--a dramatic improvement over the previous state of the art--and immediately flags them, obviating the need for a trained technician to spend hours analyzing data.

Atrial fibrillation, which affects about three million Americans, is an independent risk factor for death and a major cause of ischemic stroke, in which blood flow is reduced to part of the brain. Treatments are available that can significantly reduce or eliminate AF, but the condition must first be detected, which is difficult, Chon says.

"Unfortunately, it is notoriously difficult to diagnose," he notes. "AF is often asymptomatic and intermittent. In the vast majority of cases, diagnosis depends upon the presence of symptoms, such as rapid and irregular heart rate, and upon serendipity. Patients may be unaware of their irregular pulse and diagnosis may only be established during a fortuitous visit to a doctor."

In AF, the heart's normal sinus rhythm is disrupted by random electrical impulses in the atria and the pulmonary veins. This results in an irregular heartbeat that may be fleeting or recur intermittently for weeks or even years. While it is often a random phenomenon initially, AF is likely to become chronic, and it significantly elevates the risk for stroke and other complications, including congestive heart failure.

Without careful monitoring and early treatment, AF patients may be at risk of heart failure. But even when patients wear standard Holter or arrhythmia event monitors, which record heartbeats over an extended period of time, accurate detection of this sporadic phenomenon is complicated by the fact that the average human heart beats 72 times per minute. "It is impractical for a trained technician to sort through data on 100,000 heartbeats in each day's recording," Chon says.

Chon's algorithm addresses the need for accurate and automatic detection in two ways: by using a novel technique to detect AF episodes that might otherwise be missed, and by enabling AF to be detected and recorded in real time, eliminating the need for manual detection after the fact.

Previous algorithms have relied upon tracking either the absence of a type of electrical activity in the heart known as the P-wave, or the variability in the timing of the contraction of the ventricle (which produces the tall spikes on an ECG tracing). While absence of P-wave fluctuations are the most telling barometer for AF, motion and noise artifacts can result in AF going undetected. Chon's algorithm, in contrast, combines three different statistical techniques, building upon the unique strengths of each to detect randomness, or markedly increased beat-to-beat variability. It is able to detect AF episodes with an accuracy of 95 percent; previous monitors have had an accuracy of only 70 to 80 percent.

The algorithm enables the TeleSentry mobile cardiac telemetry device and software in the CardioView Dx Suite to analyze the electrical information it detects in real time so it can immediately flag AF episodes, eliminating the need for technicians to spend hours analyzing the data. This is a significant improvement over traditional methods such as Holter monitors, which simply store raw data that must then be downloaded and carefully examined when the monitors are returned to a hospital or other healthcare facility.

"Early detection leads to early intervention, which is the key to saving lives," Merchant said. "That is the motivator for developing and refining algorithms like this. We started with a simple goal of designing an efficient algorithm to accurately detect atrial fibrillation. That led us to complex methods for achieving that goal. This project illustrates how harnessing computing power for rapid execution of complex algorithms is the future of medical diagnostic equipment."

The algorithm was tested repeatedly using data from an independent database provided by MIT before being tested on ScottCare's own patient data, which were collected from a double blind study. "It performed, in all cases, with a very high degree of accuracy," says Chon.

About the ScottCare CardioView Dx Suite

Incorporating Holter monitoring, ambulatory telemetry, arrhythmia/event monitoring, implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) monitoring and ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, the ScottCare CardioView Dx Suite is the only single-platform, fully-integrated technology package for comprehensive ambulatory cardiovascular monitoring currently available. It features the most accurate atrial fibrillation (AF) detection capability currently available anywhere, significantly increasing the CardioView Dx Suite's potential of saving lives.

About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI was one of the nation's first engineering and technology universities. Its14 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, management, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts, leading to bachelor's, master's and PhD degrees. WPI's world-class faculty work with students in a number of cutting-edge research areas, leading to breakthroughs and innovations in such fields as biotechnology, fuel cells, information security, materials processing, and nanotechnology. Students also have the opportunity to make a difference to communities and organizations around the world through the university's innovative Global Perspective Program. There are more than 25 WPI project centers throughout North America and Central America, Africa, Australia, Asia, and Europe.

Michael Dorsey | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wpi.edu

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract
28.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht Artificial intelligence may help diagnose tuberculosis in remote areas
25.04.2017 | Radiological Society of North America

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>