Watch like device for early detection of cardiac arrest being evaluated
John Rickard and colleagues from Cleveland Clinic are evaluating the utility of a wrist worn device for the early detection of cardiac arrest. Preliminary results were published in Heart Rhythm journal [The Utility of a Novel Watch-based Pulse Detection System to Detect Pulselessness in Human Subjects. Article in Press, published online 29 July 2011]. The device detects the radial pulse and alerts the emergency medical system and designated care givers by a Bluetooth signal when the pulse is absent. A motion sensor was used to block the alert unless the subject was motionless. This will reduce the number of false alarms. The false positive alarms in this study was ten percent, which has to be brought down by future developments so that unnecessary burden on emergency personnel can be avoided. Better fitting devices rather than the one size fits all could reduce the chance of the device falling off during a cardiac arrest and reduce wrong signals. The device was testing by inflating a blood pressure cuff to cut off the radial pulse and asking the subjects to stay motionless as well as during ventricular fibrillation induction testing in patients with implanted cardioverter defibrillators. Future versions may include an accelerometer which could detect motion better and an audible alarm which can alert the subject to temporarily deactivate the device to prevent unnecessary alerting of emergency service if they are fine otherwise. If the device finally comes out successful in all evaluations, then it will help in early detection and treatment of cardiac arrest. It is well known that early defibrillation is the key to survival in cardiac arrest victims.