Global Health Asia-Pacific Special Issue - Page 32

Heart News

Revolutionary sensor-equipped belt monitors heart failure around the clock
Cost effective , low risk , and non-surgical , the cardiovascular surveillance tool will save lives

Medical and engineering researchers from Florida Atlantic University have recently developed a prototype novel wearable device that can monitor all physiological indicators linked with heart failure ( HF ) in real time .

The healthcare wearable device ( HWD ) consists of a lightweight waist-worn belt embedded with medical-grade sensors that measure thoracic impedance and heart rate , while performing the functions of an electrocardiogram ( ECG ) with motion activity detection . Thoracic impedance is a crucial bio-signal for monitoring HF development as it involves fluid accumulation in the thoracic cavity , disrupting the heart ’ s function . An irregular heartbeat , or arrhythmia , can be detected by ECG , making it a vital indicator in the diagnosis and prognosis of cardiovascular illnesses . Motion activity detection sensors can monitor low physical activity due to HF-related fatigue .
The wearable device was evaluated in various settings , including sitting , standing , lying down , and walking . Each sensor ’ s results were obtained sequentially for each condition . The results show that all sensors kept track of the changes in various situations , translating to improved management of HF as medical personnel could be instantaneously alerted to deteriorating patient conditions and immediate medical treatment started .
“ Healthcare wearable devices such as the prototype we developed have the potential to decrease hospital readmissions in a cost-effective way that also is safe and convenient for the wearer ,” said Mary Ann Levitt , a member of the research team from FAU ’ s College of Nursing , in a press release .
The research team now hopes to develop an algorithm for predicting heart failure in the next phase of the project .
Loneliness is strongly linked to death from heart complications
Cardiovascular patients living alone are vulnerable

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oneliness , social isolation , and living alone are all linked to premature death in individuals with cardiovascular disease , according to new research from the University of Limerick ( UL ) in Ireland .
The research , which includes studies from around the world , highlights the adverse health outcomes of physical and psychological isolation on people with heart complications , which is one of Ireland ’ s leading causes of death and disability . “ Social health factors such as loneliness and social isolation have gained a significant amount of attention recently and are really important to think of within the context of cardiovascular health ,” lead author Dr Róisín Long , a professional clinical psychologist , said in a press release .
She added , however , that it was unclear how living alone impacted the longevity of individuals diagnosed with heart diseases . “ There are likely several reasons for this ranging from support from another individual to how an individual biologically responds to stress ,” she said .
The study also indicated that the trend of living alone was correlated with declining cardiovascular health , a phenomenon that was highly prevalent in European countries and reflected the growing number of people living alone in the region . However , the research team , consisting of representatives from the Department of Psychology at UL , the College of Medicine at Florida State University , and the Department of Psychology at Humboldt University Berlin , also highlighted that a more comprehensive research model was needed to fully ascertain the link between loneliness and cardiovascular diseaserelated deaths around the world . “ While supporting public health concerns surrounding loneliness and social isolation , the study points to the need for rigorous research in this area across a greater range of geographical regions ,” the researchers concluded in the press release .
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