National Science Foundation-supported researchers at the University of Washington have developed a new tool to monitor people for cardiac arrest while they're asleep. A smart speaker -- like Google Home or Amazon Alexa -- or a smartphone lets the device detect the gasping sound of agonal breathing – when people experiencing cardiac arrest suddenly become unresponsive and stop breathing or begin gasping for air -- and call for help. On average, the proof-of-concept tool, which was developed using real agonal breathing instances captured from 911 calls, detected agonal breathing events 97% of the time from up to 20 feet away. Almost 500,000 Americans die each year from cardiac arrest, when the heart suddenly stops beating. Immediate CPR can double or triple someone's chance of survival, but that requires a bystander to be present. Cardiac arrests often occur outside of a hospital. Recent research suggests that one of the most common locations for an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is in a patient's bedroom, where no one is likely around or awake to respond and provide care.
Visit Website | Image credit: Sarah McQuate/University of Washington