It sounds like a horror flick from the ’90s, with a whisper on the phone saying, “Only 7 days left.” The Hamburg researchers are serious.
At the Technical University of Hamburg, a small green box is currently being developed to perform measurements around the heart without noise or cables. The so-called “cardiac radar” is said to be an early warning system for heart attacks, strokes and even capable of accurately predicting death in analgesic patients.
Early warning system for heart attacks and strokes
The radar should be placed in a polygonal frame and thus be able to measure pulse frequency as well as minimal arrhythmias, such as pulse wave velocity or vascular calcification by permanent but harmless beams. This data is sent to the doctors, who then learn if an emergency is on the way.
In four days it was time …
The practical test takes place in the palliative care ward of the Women’s Clinic in Erlangen. The people there are of course terminally ill and the heart radar cannot save them, but the time of death is assumed to be reliably determined based on the measured data. Relatives still have time to say goodbye, as the device records critical changes in pulse rate four days earlier.
However, the target group of cardiac radar should be patients at risk of heart attacks and strokes, as the device must sound the alarm in time to save the patient’s life. The researchers’ dream is to use heart radar not only in elderly homes and hospitals, but also in private areas where it should work like a smoke detector. It should be possible to monitor several people at the same time and subtly save the necessary time before an emergency.