According to the World Health Organization, the leading cause of death is heart diseases, resulting in the loss of 6 million people a year. However, heart diseases can be diagnosed by simply placing a regular stethoscope on the patients chest and listening to their heartbeats. But this is a hard task for non specialized doctors, medical students, and other health professions. These hit the worst in places where trained health professionals are scarce like Latin America and Northern Canada, as they often go by unnoticed. This was our motivation to create Hack the Beat.
We bring a better health to our patients, while we work with tools that provide a increased quality of diagnosis and prevention of a really aggressive disease. And since it uses inexpensive hardware it can be used in poor countries and places with low access to quality health care.
The first part of our hack is a sound sensor which captures the heart beats and sends them to the Arduino. The Arduino then cleans the sound data up a bit, before sending this to a computer. Using Python the computer then checks the heart beats for abnormalities . Finally the diagnostic hypotheses are displayed in a simple and friendly user-interface made in python.
We were able to identify real heart beats with our hardware and run the data through our system to identify patterns.
By listening the to heart, we are able to differentiate sounds like valve reflux, stenosis, abnormal rhythms and extra beats. That can identify diseases earlier and could be target by proper treatments, preventing bad outcomes.
In the future we hope to make it so that the Arduino and sound sensor are smaller and less invasive, and allow the sonsor part to communicate with smartphones to make it more universally useable.