According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 659,000 people in the US die of heart disease each year. This means that one in four deaths results from heart disease. Such shocking statistics show the dangers associated with heart disease. Unfortunately, many people don’t know they have heart problems until they have a heart attack. Many times these sudden attacks lead to death or paralysis. Finding heart problems early can help reduce deaths from heart disease. The use of Internet of Things (IoT) monitoring devices could be the solution.
One of the fundamental ways to detect heart disease is by monitoring the heart rate. When it becomes abnormal or irregular, one can easily check to see the cause and take the necessary preventive measures or treatments. Let’s discuss how IoT monitoring devices help with early detection of heart attacks and thus increase the chances of survival.
IoT: a brief explanation
IoT is a concept that involves a computerized network of physical objects that interact with the external environment or other devices through embedded technologies. It is a fully automated network of systems and devices connected to a wireless network. The IoT concept works under the assumption of machine-to-machine interaction with very little human intervention. One does not have to look very far to see the use of the concept in everyday life.
Security systems, manufacturing industries, transportation, retail, and home appliances are gradually adopting the technology. However, we are going to focus on the medical use of technology, especially to detect heart disease.
IoT and heart disease: the technology that can help
The world is constantly changing. People rush to make ends meet and can forget about their health and wellness. Most health problems that lead to death can actually be prevented if caught early. Heart disease is one of those health problems that people don’t treat until it’s too late. However, IoT can help curb the problem. Tools based on the IoT concept can recognize heart failure long before it occurs. Fortunately, there are technological tools that use IoT to monitor heart health. Let’s explore three of these tools:
#1: The Heartbeat Sensor
During the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Smart Cities and Applications (ICAISC 2020), Suchitra Giri et al. presented a paper titled “IoT-based heart rate monitoring and heart attack detection system”. They recommended a framework that recognizes heart failure by checking the pulse dependent on IoT. Giri and company. introduced the heartbeat sensor, a device that comes in numerous shapes and sizes and allows instant heartbeat measurement.
According to the document, the sensors are available in square measurements in smart watches, smartphones, chest traps, etc. The device measures the heartbeat in beats per minute, noting the number of times the heart contracts and expands in one minute. It consists of a sensor and a control circuit. The sensor has an IR LED and photodiode attached to a clip, while the control circuitry includes an Amp IC that maps the signal to a Microcontroller.
The sensor works to detect the pulses and reads them as information signals. The microcontroller handles the read information and transmits it to the WiFi module. Subsequently, web servers receive the transmitted information for further examination and analysis. Preparation of the examined and analyzed information follows, after which it is progressively saved with a date and time stamp. Giri and her team proposed that if their innovation can grow, it will help recognize heart block and eventually save more lives.
#2: An IoT-Based Heart Disease Monitoring System
In September 2017, Chao Li, Xiangpei Hu, and Lili Zhang presented a paper at the International Conference on Knowledge-Based and Intelligent Engineering and Information Systems, KES2017, in Marseille, France. In the presentation titled, “IoT-based heart disease monitoring system for widespread health care service” They said that IoT techniques have overwhelming superiority in solving heart disease problems. Also, Chao and company. He said that IoT could change the service model in a pervasive way, triggering healthcare service based on the physical state of patients rather than their feelings.
Chao et al. proposed a monitoring system capable of sending physical signals from patients to remote medical applications in real time. The system will consist of two parts:
- Data acquisition
- Data transmission
The key point of data acquisition is the monitoring scheme comprising the parameters and the monitoring frequency of each parameter. It was designed by the team after interviewing medical experts. If the monitoring system is successful, it will sample physical signs such as blood pressure, ECG, Sp02, pulse rate, heart rate, blood glucose, and blood level. In addition, it will sample environmental indicators such as the location of a patient. The monitoring system will perform this sampling continuously at different speeds.
#3: Smart Heart Disease Prediction System with IoT and Fog Computing
K. Butchi Raju, Suresh Dara, Ankit Vidyarthi, V. Gupta, and Baseem Khan proposed an intelligent heart disease prediction system with the help of IoT and Fog Computing. Their proposed model is an Edge-Fog-Cloud computing integration for accurate and fast delivery of results. The model gathered information from various hardware instruments.
Raju and company. concluded that the smart healthcare model with IoT-assisted fog computing has promising performance.
They project that the model may see advanced use in the future with improved algorithms and optimization to improve efficiency in heart disease prediction and diagnosis. The model can also be used in real-time applications.
More IoT-based cardiac monitoring systems are likely to emerge in the near future. These technologies are welcome and will surely help fight heart disease.
Preventive measures for heart disease
Although the emergence of IoT promises a bright future for heart disease prevention, it is good to take steps to prevent heart failure. For example, people should take preventive measures for shortness of breath and other indicators of heart disease. In addition to these preventive measures, here are some other actions to take to curb heart disease:
- Eat healthy food
- exercise regularly
- Limit alcohol intake
- control diabetes
- get enough sleep
- avoid smoking
- keep a healthy weight
- Control cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- control blood pressure
Embracing IoT in healthcare
The Internet of Things is a welcome advanced technological tool. It is applicable in almost all spheres of life, including health care. There are already several suggested methods and technologies supported by IoT that monitor heart health. These include heartbeat sensors, heart disease monitoring systems, and smart heart disease prediction systems. There is no doubt that these technologies will advance over time and help reduce deaths from heart disease. However, people still need to take preventive measures and take an active role in their health.