New smartphone App can replace the ultrasound to measure heart health
The left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) is a key indicator of the heart health of the person. The LVEF value for the normal healthy heart is between 50 and 70 percent. The LVEF value will be much lower in for an unhealthy heart or for a weaker heart as the heart can not pump enough blood required by the body organs.
The best way to measure the LVEF is the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. But the patient seldom uses this procedure as it is very costly and lesser availability. A patient usually takes the echocardiography procedure over the MRI scan. This procedure takes up to 45 minutes and needs a trained ultrasound professional.
Researchers from the Huntington Medical Research Institute (HMRI), University of Southern California and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have developed a new Smartphone (mobile) App to measure the heart health of an individual with the LVEF value. The new device or App can replace the ultrasound procedure (current procedure) to monitor the heart health.
The camera in the smartphone App can measure the LVEF with the help of the skin movement in the neck area as the blood flows through the carotid artery. Researchers have conducted a trial on 72 people, aged between 20 and 92 years. Researchers have compared the LVEF of the Smartphone App with the LVEF of the echocardiography machine. The results show the reading with the new Smartphone App was impressive. The error margin is +/- 19 percent (an acceptable margin of error).
The researchers have founded a start-up named Avicena to market the Smartphone App as soon as possible. Senior author of the study was Professor Mory Gharib, at California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The study was published July 2017 in the Journal of Critical Care Medicine.
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LVEF : How much oxygen-rich blood is being pumped out of left ventricle of the heart to rest of the body with each contraction is called the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF). The normal value of LVEF is 50 percent or higher. The ejection fraction (EF) show the efficiency of the heart in pumping blood. Below a normal LVEF is a sign of a heart failure.
Heart diseases such as cardiomyopathy or coronary artery disease may lead to a low ejection fraction. The Echocardiography machine uses the non-invasive technique to show the ejection fraction (EF) of a person. With LVEF, a healthcare professional can determine a heart failure or other heart diseases in a person. A person with a low LVEF may not able to do exercise, the problem with shortness of breath, swelling in the legs, mental confusion, fatigue and weakness.
Echocardiogram : An echocardiogram (also called as cardiac echo or echo) is a type of ultrasound test procedure (painless) used to create images of the heart of a person. This report shows the dimensions and shape of the heart, blood pumping capacity of the heart and details of the damage to heart tissue.
This test uses ultrasound waves to produce the images of the heart. It is used to diagnosis a possible or known heart disease, blood clots in the heart, ejection fraction (EF), relaxation of the heart (diastolic phase), amount of blood being pumped by the heart per minute (cardiac output) and even to find out heart defects in an unborn baby.
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Published by Jammi Vasista, Chennai, India.