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 New technique to treating mitral valve diseases: First patient data
22.08.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht New bioimaging technique is fast and economical
21.08.2017 | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease

22.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Meter-sized single-crystal graphene growth becomes possible

22.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>