Your smart speaker may soon be able to check your heart for irregular rhythms.
If you have a smart speaker such as Amazon Echo, Google Home or any other then it may soon be able to monitor your heartbeat. Just when you think technology can’t get any better we find out that it can even be integrated into our health which is quite amusing. Here is how to get the best experience by setting up your speaker.
Researchers at the University of Washington have developed an artificial intelligence system using smart speakers to monitor your heartbeat without requiring physical contact.
How was the study conducted?
The study had people sit 1 to 2 feet from a smart speaker, which starts playing an inaudible continuous sound. The sound then bounces off the person and back to the speaker, where the AI system is able to detect individual heartbeats.
In effect, the speaker becomes a “short-range active sonar system,” the report says.
How does it work?
Researchers say that the algorithm used by the smart speaker combines signals from the microphones to find the heartbeat, similarly to how speakers are able to find your voice if you’re in a crowded room.
In a statement released by the co-senior author of the study and associate professor in the university’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering Shyam Gollakota, confirmed that the speaker will work the same way it works to find someone’s voice in a room for example when someone says ” Hey Alexa”.
How did the tests go?
In tests, the speaker was able to detect heartbeats closely matching standard heartbeat monitors in both healthy people and hospitalized cardiac patients, the study found.
Dr. Arun Sridhar, assistant professor of cardiology at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine and co-senior author of the study, said heart rhythm disorders are more common than other heart conditions but are difficult to detect because they’re unpredictable.
“Availability of a low-cost test that can be performed frequently and at the convenience of home can be a game changer for certain patients in terms of early diagnosis and management,”
The inability to detect such health defects leads to serious health issues so if there’s a way that our smart technology can do more than entertain us and probably start saving us, we definitely cannot refuse.