Researchers at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have reportedly created an app and a thumb-sized device that can detect irregular heartbeats and prevent cerebral infarctions at an early stage.
The Android-compatible app Beat2Phone can identify individual heartbeats, the interval of time between heartbeats, and detect when the user is under stress. The device also includes position and activity sensors.
Researchers are testing the device on patients at the Turku University Central Hospital in an ongoing study. The device has been worn by 30 users, who report that monitoring their heartbeats helps to alleviate the uncertainty of arrhythmia.
Beat2Phone has also been tested by top athletes, according to the researchers. They suggest that professional athletes should regularly monitor their heart activity, because any changes could be an indicator of a serious condition like myocarditis.
Beat2Phone is expected to hit the market in 6 months, according to the center.
“With the mobile device developed by VTT, users can register their ECG signal whenever arrhythmia or other heart symptoms occur,” principal scientist Timo Varpula said, according to Science Daily. “The device is also suitable for pre- and post-surgery monitoring of heart patients at home. There is no need for patients to visit a hospital, because the data is sent automatically from a mobile phone to medical staff via a cloud service.”