Everybody who underwent a cardiogram at least once knows that the procedure is not quick in all respects. First, the patient has to undress, lie down and wait till a number of sensors are attached to him/her. But this is half the trouble. The obtained ECG is to be interpreted, that is to be determined how the heart works according to the waves recorded on the cardiograph tape. This is not done by the nurse who recorded the ECG, but by the medical specialist and probably within several days only. Any cardiologist will diagnose, for example, preinfarction angina and especially infarct, but ischemic heart disease, particularly at its early stages, would not be “caught” via ECG even by a more experienced cardiologist. Additional examinations will be needed, probably in a hospital. As a result, the time will be missed, and it will be much more difficult to cope with the disease.
It is evident that software is the most important thing in the new device, as it allows to get the information necessary for diagnosing based on the signals that were previously considered “murmur”. These weak signals turned out to be also manifestation of myocardium work, however they are much harder to record and especially to interpret than evident electrocardiographic waves with a large amplitude. Nevertheless, this is possible if the task is entrusted to the computer with a special software loaded in it. Certainly, to do this, a computer model of the heart will be needed, which the authors also succeeded to create.
In order for the computer to know what signals are to be considered standard, and which ones – a pathology, the computer was initially taught for a long time. The researchers recorded ECGs of knowingly healthy people and those of patients with precisely proved diagnoses to reveal the difference and analyze the findings. The task is labour-intensive, but it was worth it, because reliability of diagnostics with the help of the device, which was developed in the long run, reaches 75 to 85 percent, and it should be noted that this is applicable to complicated cases when an ordinary cardiograph is practically useless.
Sergey Komarov | alfa
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