AR phone apps screen for atrial fibrillation

By staff writers

March 17, 2020 -- Two smartphone applications that create 3D anatomical models using augmented reality (AR) technology can enable patients to better understand their heart condition and detect possible atrial fibrillation, U.K. investigators have found.

Know My Heart AR phone application
Know My Heart AR phone application. Image courtesy of Phan et al and licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.

"AR apps are an ideal way to engage with the general public at scale and trigger interest and behavior change, thus improving health and well-being," wrote first author Dr. Thanh Phan from Royal Stoke University Hospital and colleagues (British Journal of General Practice, March 2020, Vol. 70:692, p. 124).

The first AR application, called Know My Beat, projects a virtual 3D model of the hand along with instructions on the proper way to obtain a pulse. Ultimately, the application aims to help patients with heart conditions screen for possible atrial fibrillation.

A secondary application, called Know My Heart, displays a virtual 3D model of a beating heart generated from medical imaging data. The AR-based visualization allows users to examine the heart from any angle as well as observe the ways in which variations in heartbeat and blood flow affect the heart.

"These innovative apps should support patients to take more responsibility for their own health and reduce demand on the National Health Service," the authors wrote.

Copyright © 2020

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