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Portrait Of A Diseased Heart Instead Of ECG

17.03.2006


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.


Strange as it may seem, the procedure becomes simpler for the patient regardless of the high complexity of the device. There is no need for undressing and lying down – the sensors are needed only on hands and feet. The patient will have to sit with sensors attached to him/her for a couple of minutes only, during which the cardiovisor will record the signal, decode it and show the results on the computer display. That will be a colored portrait of the heart, where a healthy heart is depicted in grey and green colors, but the areas of pathologies – in pinky-red or yellow colors depending on the disease.

In addition to the portrait, the device can give out the automatic conclusion where it would indicate to what extent cardiac work indices deviate from the standard. As a result, within several minutes the physician will get the opportunity to reveal, for instance, ischemic heart disease when it is only being developed secretly. Having gained strength, the disease can upset the person’s habitual rhythm of life or even take away the life itself. This would not happen if the cardiovisor is employed!

Sergey Komarov | alfa
Further information:
http://www.informnauka.ru

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