AI Powered Smart Rings, A Better Solution for Cardiovascular Disease

The World Health Organization tells us that cardiovascular disease is the number 1 cause of death globally, with an estimated 17.9 million people dying from CVDs is 2016 alone – accounting for 31% of deaths that year. It’s astonishing (source: click here).

Heart Monitors not only provide comfort for those who have heart issues, but in many cases, they are a prescribed, mandatory part of recovery and illness. Some patients are fitted with monitors whilst trying to diagnose issues, whereas others use monitors following surgery as part of recovery. In addition, heart monitors are used in medical trials.

Researchers in South Korea have announced exciting new findings in how smart rings could be employed as heart monitors in these cases. Cardiology Today reports that the tech is supported by a deep learning algorithm. The hope is that these rings could be used in future to detect atrial fibrillation, which is “a quivering or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.” (source: click here).

What exactly did the researchers test?

The researchers compared the results of simultaneous ECGs and optical photoplethysmographs (the types of sensors used in Smart Rings, for example in the Oura) on 119 patients who suffer from atrial fibrillation, to determine the effectiveness of the Smart Ring tech.

Photo of Eue-Keun Choi

Eue-Keun Choi

They found that photoplethysmography data was 99.3% accurate in detecting atrial fibrillation! In addition, it was 95.9% accurate in detecting regular heart rhythm. Once low quality samples were removed from the sample set, the accuracy sky rocketed to 100% and 98.3% respectively.

The researchers concluded that the results of the test were comparable to medical-grade equipment.

Why use a Smart Ring for this?

You might wonder, if the current medical options are working just fine, why test a new method such as a Smart Ring? Well, there are a few reasons:

  1. A smart is not invasive or difficult for a patient to use
  2. A smart ring is a low cost and easily manufactured device

There are Smart Watches used for this same purpose, however they are more bulky, more expensive and suffer from high battery use.

This is another example of how Smart Rings can make our lives easier and safer.

To read more about the research, run by Eue-Keun Choi, MD, PhD, and colleagues click here.

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