A new Bluetooth sensor has been developed to detect heart failure 10 days before hospitalization is required, even if the patient is not showing symptoms, according to a new study. The device was able to detect precursors of heart failure exacerbation with a 76% to 88% success rate.

The sensor, designed as a patch to be worn on the chest, works by tracking heart rate and rhythm, step count, sleep quality and body posture. The data is sent from the sensor to a smartphone app, which uses artificial intelligence to establish a normal baseline for each patient. By gathering this information on a daily basis, the app can detect when heart function is beginning to deteriorate and alert doctors before the patient is in serious danger.

First signs of trouble

The study’s lead author, Dr. Josef Stehlik, MD, MPH, who conducted his trial with the University of Utah, commented to the Daily Mail, “This study shows that we can accurately predict the likelihood of hospitalization for heart failure deterioration well before doctors and patients know that something is wrong. Being able to readily detect changes in the heart sufficiently early will allow physicians to initiate prompt interventions that could prevent re-hospitalization and stave off worsening heart failure.”

Though this research and trial is a promising first step, the study concluded that further testing should be carried out before the sensor becomes available to the public. Watch this space.

See Also: 7 surprising heart attack risk factors

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