Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Algorithms to reanimate the heart

04.10.2007
When an adult suffers a cardiorespiratory arrest the rapid application of an electrical discharge with a defibrillator can avoid sudden death in many cases.

Nevertheless, defibrillation also has its impediment or enemy: time. For every minute that passes from the moment of the attack, the possibilities of survival drop by 10%. This is why, in order to avoid avoidable deaths, more and more easy-to-handle, automatic defibrillators are being designed, sold and installed.

Automatic defibrillators or AEDs (Automatic External Defibrillators) have been around now for some ten years. The main elements of these devices are based on algorithms that help undertake a study and diagnosis of the electrical signals from the heart. The defibrillator reads the patient’s heartbeat and carries out a continuous report of the state of the organ. Once this analysis is completed, it communicates whether or not an electric discharge is necessary, i.e. it will tell if, on applying electro-treatment, the heart will recover its usual pace or not.

In fact, this last was the starting point for researchers at the Department of Electronics and Telecommunications at the Higher Technical Engineering School in Bilbao (the University of the Basque Country - UPV-EHU); i.e. drawing up algorithms for defibrillators designed for adults. In this research, however, they are investigating algorithms that are reliably applicable for children and overcoming that obstacle of time.

AEDs for children

The use of automatic defibrillators for adults is quite widespread. The heartbeat of a child under 8, however, is quite different from that of an adult. What happens when a child suffers a cardiorespiratory arrest? The use of such devices with children has been authorised for some two years now, and the UPV-EHU researchers are focusing on this application.

To this end, it is essential to have a pediatric database, not an easy task given that few children suffer from a cardiorespiratory arrest. To draw up this database, researchers needed data on hundreds of normal heartbeats and life-threatening ones and for this they had the help of hospitals and doctors registering the heartbeats of children.

Once the database was drawn up, reliable algorithms suitable for children were designed, i.e. digitalised signals or the electrocardiograms registered by the computers were processed and a number of parameters analysed such as, for example, the frequency of the electrical signals, their morphology, their spectrum and the most significant time/frequency parameters. Depending on all these parameters, the researchers carry out a classification of the signals, thus enabling a decision to be made if there is a life-threatening heart rate.

The obstacle of time

As mentioned before, time makes the difference between life and death in many of these cases. Often, a massage is sufficient to reanimate the heart and recover a normal heartbeat. Sometimes, however, a massage is insufficient and this is when time may be lost. In fact, when a massage is given, an electrocardiogram signal cannot be analysed nor can an electric discharge be applied. So, until a study of the electric signals is carried out and a check made to see if an electro-treatment will save a patient from almost certain death, seconds and minutes will have passed; seconds and minutes that make a difference between life and death The UPV-EHU engineers have looked at the option of unifying the automatic defibrillator analysis and the massage. The problem is that the signal received by the AED from the skin is distorted by the movement due to the massage, and so the result of the diagnosis is not very reliable. The UPV-EHU researchers have undertaken research on specific methods which avoid these distorsions and obtain a more reliable diagnosis.

They apply specific methods in order to distinguish the clean signal without distorsions. For example, they obtain samples of certain electrocardiograms or signals and apply specific algorithms to them. Aided by these algorithms, the aim is to differentiate the noise or distorsion of the signal from the undistorted one. When this is achieved, there is no obstacle to applying defibrillation and the massage at the same time.

The methods applied to date, in various areas, are providing fascinating results. The goal of the UPV-EHU researchers is to publish these in the near future..

Irati Kortabitarte | alfa
Further information:
http://www.basqueresearch.com/berria_irakurri.asp?Berri_Kod=1430&hizk=I

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

nachricht A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

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

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

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>