IPhone App to Accurately Monitor Blood Flow in Cardiac Assessment

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Recent studies revealed that iPhone app has accurate diagnostic accuracy up to 94% as compared to 84% using conventional method

In a patient undergoing coronary angiography, scientists used an app on iPhone 4S to assess blood flow in a wrist artery, which was found to performed better than conventional physical examination. However, this app is not certified for use in healthcare by regulatory bodies. “Our study highlights the potential for smartphone-based diagnostics to aid in clinical decision-making at the patient’s bedside,” said Dr Benjamin Hibbert from the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Ottawa.

According to a randomized trial published in Canadian Medical Association Journal, researchers used the smartphone’s camera function to examine the surgical process. As a part of study, around 438 participants were involved in study, which were split into two groups. The researchers compared use of a heart-rate monitoring application (the Instant Heart Rate application version 4.5.0 on an iPhone 4S) with the modified Allen test, which measures blood flow in the radial and ulnar arteries of the wrist, one of which is used to access the heart for coronary angiography. Out of two groups, one group was assessed using the app and the other was assessed using the Allen test.

Researchers explained that built-in cameras with specific software or photodiode sensors using infrared light-emitting diodes have the potential to render smartphones into functional plethysmographs (instruments that measure changes in blood flow). “The current report highlights that a smartphone application can outperform the current standard of care and provide incremental diagnostic yield in clinical practice,” Dr Hibbert wrote. “However, while smartphones aren’t designed as medical devices, it is important that they are evaluated in the same rigorous manner by which we assess all therapies and diagnostic tests,” noted lead author Dr Pietro Di Santo.

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