There is some good news for heart patients in remote places. Scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IIT-Hyderabad) have developed a new algorithm that promises to help transmit heart parameters even on a low-bandwidth network and make it easier for cardiologists to interpret the data.
Boon for heart patients in remote areas
Many heart patients need to keep a check on their health by regular monitoring of heart parameters. In India, in everyone lakh heart patients, about 5000 need such regular monitoring. While portable devices are available to help continuously monitor status of the heart, cardiologists who can interpret such data are mostly not available in rural areas. Telemedicine can bridge this gap by helping transmitting the data to specialists over telephone or other networks. But such transmission of this data – which is massive - requires high bandwidth networks and a specialist to sift through it.
In addition, it makes diagnosis easier. “The burden on the specialist is reduced by at least 85.9% because he or she now has to only look at the anomalies that have already been sifted apart by the algorithm,” researchers said. The team has also developed an artificial intelligence (AI)-based procedure that combines information like heartbeat and blood pressure with ECG data. The procedure mimicked the human thinking process involved in analysing and combining multiple parameters into a realistic diagnosis, using a form of computing called Artificial Neural Networking (ANN).
The algorithm was tested on available datasets and it gave accurate results. “We are looking at working with hardware groups to incorporate the algorithm into monitoring devices. We are planning to conduct a field trial and an end-to-end system is expected to be available by 2020,”saidBolelpalli S. Chandra, a member of the research team. The team included Professor Soumya Jana and Dr C S Sastry from IIT-Hyderabad, and DrLaxminarayanaAnumandla, a cardiac surgeon from Maxcare Hospital, Warangal. The research results have been published in two journals IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering and Artificial Intelligence in Medicine.
BY Kollegala Sharma