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This Mobile App Can Reduce the Risk of Stroke by Detecting Atrial Fibrillation

Developed at the University of Turku, Finland, without any additional equipment, this mobile application can detect atrial fibrillation, which causes strokes. The application has the potential to save lives all over the world as a timely diagnosis of atrial fibrillation is crucial for effective stroke prevention.

Researchers of the University of Turku and the Heart Centre of the Turku University Hospital studied three hundred patients with heart problems, half of whom had atrial fibrillation. Researchers identified those with atrial fibrillation from the other group by using a smart phone.

The app was developed at the Department of Future Technologies of the University of Turku and displayed that it could detect which patients had atrial fibrillation even with a 69 percent accuracy.

The application has been under development for seven years, authors of the study said atrial fibrillation has been a worldwide medical challenge for years. Researchers found that it was possible to reliably detect atrial fibrillation from the micro-movements in the chest by using small accelerometers. Since most smart phones have an accelerometer, they decided to develop an application that could be used in the detection.

“If everyone can measure with an ordinary smart phone whether they have atrial fibrillation, we have the possibility to direct patients straight to the doctor and further testing without any delay,” said Professor Airaksinen, Chief Physician and Professor of Cardiology from Turku University Hospital.

Researchers hope to make the application available for all as quickly as possible as they believe it will spread to the international market—the commercialization of the method is expected to advance quickly.


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