Healthcare today has been profusely fused with the advancements in technology. Technological developments have been used in almost all aspects of health-related issues. From the use of now-normal infrared thermometers for the detection of fevers to advanced radiological equipment and genome sequencing for the treatment of previously incurable diseases like cancer and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), technology has been a major factor in the recent spur in life expectancy of the major population. 

Advancements in prosthetic technology have led to better facilities and increased options for patients with dysfunctional organs or requiring amputations. Technology has been used to develop fully functional artificial limbs, artificial lungs, and even artificial bladders like gall bladders and urinary bladders. Recently, in the United States, a pig’s heart was successfully transplanted into a human. This was done using genome sequencing, which blocked the genes responsible for the withdrawal effect, allowing the heart to function normally inside the human.

What is the Need to Monitor the Heart?

A heart attack is basically a phenomenon in the body wherein the constant flow of blood to the heart is blocked. This usually happens due to depositions in the arterioles caused by a build-up of fats, cholesterol, or some other substances.  “According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States, one person dies from cardiovascular disease for every 36 seconds, and about 659,000 die of heart strokes every year.”2 A lot of these lives could have been saved if the abnormalities and irregularities in the myocardial functioning could have been diagnosed earlier. In the following discussion, you will learn about how coding can be used as an effective means of detecting and diagnosing heart attacks, as well as how this methodology has been put to use in today’s date.

How Does Technology Help in Monitoring the Heart?

The mechanism to monitor the heart rate is based on the Internet of Things(IoT). IoT is a system of interconnected physical objects, or more aptly, computing devices that have been fitted with sensors, software, processors, and other technological sources that connect and share data with each other through the internet, and the data is then systematically interpreted to give a logical result as the output.

  • Pulse Sensor

The pulse sensor is a meticulously designed low-power plug-and-play heart sensor. The functioning of the pulse sensor has a very basic theory. It works by a mechanism called Photoplethysmogram. A green light is incident on the subject’s fingertips, and the amount of light reflected back is measured with a photosensor.

The oxyhemoglobin in the blood has a tendency to absorb the green light. The amount of green light absorbed is directly proportional to the amount of hemoglobin present in the blood. As the blood pumps through the fingertips to the tune of each heartbeat, the amount of light reflecting back keeps on changing. These alterations create an irregular waveform at the output of the photosensor. 

  • Use of Biosensor-enabled Devices

Biosensors are used in a variety of devices to give Electrocardiogram functionality. The sensors in these devices are integrated into the device’s frame and the biosensor core.

During ECG generation, the subject is asked to hold on to the frame of the device for a specified amount of time. This activates the pulse sensors present in the frame, and the signals are sent to the Arduino microcontroller board, which interprets the signals and displays the results on the screen.

  • Use of ECG for Heart Monitoring

An ECG is meant to record the electrical signals in your heart. It makes use of electrodes that are placed at certain places on the chest, arms, and legs. They are then connected to a monitor. The results of these tests are monitored and interpreted to check the functioning of the patient’s heart. An ECG records these impulses to show the pace at which the heart is beating, the rhythm of the heartbeats (steady or irregular), and the timing and strength of the electrical impulses as they move through the heart’s different parts. Changes in an ECG can be a sign of many heart-related conditions.

There are various devices used today that  monitor your heart activity regularly. They can also be programmed purposefully in a way that they can notify the health authorities in case of severe abnormalities. These devices,when regularly attached to your body, can detect tachycardia or bradycardia over a sustained period of time, which can be fatal to the patient, and thus notify the authorities, even if the subject is not physically capable of doing so.

We learned how a sensor and a microcontroller are made to work together and then coded to get information about the functioning of the heart. This technology is then used for the early detection of heart attacks. When subjects susceptible to cardiovascular disorders use this device, they can continuously monitor their heart rate. An irregular and unregulated increase in heart rate is generally an early symptom of a heart attack. Thus, when the device detects such an event, the user can be rushed to the emergency room, and immediate treatment can be provided, which can further lead to a decrease in fatalities due to heart attack.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is NOT medical advice and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, provide medical or behavioral advice, treat, prevent, or cure any disease, condition, or behavior. You should consult with a qualified healthcare professional regarding your child’s development to make a medical diagnosis, determine a treatment for a medical condition, or obtain other related advice.

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