App to Assess AFib

Researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) are developing a video algorithm app to incorporate into a tablet or smartphone to act as a clinical tool to assess Atrial Fibrillation.

A team of engineers and clinicians at RIT and the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) received a grant from NIH to develop a non-contact video recording technology to detect the presence of Atrial Fibrillation.

URMC received $2 million in funding for the project and RIT will be granted nearly $800,000 from that funding to collaborate and develop the video algorithm. The video algorithm app installed on a tablet and could run seamlessly in the background while an individual is using the tablet.

Tablets will be provided to more than 260 patients expected to enroll in the study over the next four years. The software will record an individual’s heart rhythm for a longer monitoring period to capture data related to heart activity as compared to the shorter interval in a medical setting for EEG/ECG monitoring tests.

Participants will also wear an ECG patch, so that researchers will be able to compare data from the patch and the tablet to determine how accurate the tablet technology is in detecting the irregular heartbeats.

According to the researchers, “The app would not replace EKG/ECG monitoring tests measuring the electrical activity of the heart using contact based sensing but would replace PPG a pulse plethysmograph that illuminates the skin and measures the volume changes in blood during a heartbeat. The app’s ability to capture more of this type of data could determine with a high percentage of accuracy an individual’s risk for Atrial Fibrillation.

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