New sensor system 'could be used to predict heart failure events'

23 November 2016

An innovative new sensor system has been developed to aid the prediction of heart failure events by tracking a patient's condition over time.

The aim of the study, led by Penn State College of Medicine, was to determine whether implantable devices already used in heart failure patients could be retrofitted with sensors to aid the monitoring of these individuals.

A total of 900 heart failure patients saw their implanted defibrillators uploaded with software that allowed the devices to act as sensors, monitoring heart rates, breathing, heart sounds and electrical activity in the chest. Subjects were followed for up to one year.

It was found that the suite of sensors was able to detect 70 percent of heart failure events, often more than a month before the events occurred. This far exceeded the study's goal of achieving a detection rate greater than 40 per cent. Some false positives were noted, but at a rate that was deemed to be within an acceptable range.

The study's leader Dr John Boehmer, professor of medicine at Penn State College of Medicine, said: "This is a new and clinically valuable measure of worsening heart failure, and it combines a number of measures of the physiology and heart failure, much like a doctor will look at a patient."

Posted by Philip Briggs


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