Wearable device to give early alert for heart problems

A Noble laureate will work with local medical experts to jointly develop a wearable device that gives an early alarm to patients with myocardial infarction.

George Smoot, a Noble laureate for physics, and Xu Yawei, vice president of Shanghai No.10 People's Hospital, unveiled a plaque symbolizing the start of a joint workshop in Shanghai over the weekend.

Medical experts at Shanghai No.10 People’s Hospital are teaming up with George Smoot, a Noble laureate for physics, to jointly develop wearable devices that can effectively monitor and give timely alarm for patients with serious cardiovascular conditions.

The artificial intelligence-based system is to give alert to patients in the early stages of acute myocardial infarction and reduce the time for patients to seek help.

“We want to develop and boost the adoption of such automatic alarming systems in acute myocardial infarction to improve the survival rate of patients,” George Smoot said in Shanghai over the weekend, when preparation for the joint workshop officially kicked off.

According to Dr Xu Yawei, leader of the project from Shanghai No.10 People’s Hospital, treatment for acute myocardial infarction has greatly improved in China over the past two decades. However the average period from patients showing symptoms to having blocked blood vessels opened is four hours, during which myocardial cells have started to die.

“The medical process has been streamlined in recent years. The period from patients arriving in the hospital and having their blocked vessels opened is 90 minutes, and ambulance transportation is 30 minutes,” Xu said. “This means many patients started to call for help after already showing symptoms for two hours. This period of time has not been shortened in the recent ten years. The key is many patients don’t have awareness about their problems and how serious they are.”

“With a wearable device, patients can ask for medical help quickly after the system alerts them,” he said.


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