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Clinical Articles, Lead Article

Smartphone monitoring detects atrial fibrillation

Smartphones can be used to detect atrial fibrillation (AF) with existing hardware, according to research presented by Mr Tero Koivisto (University of Turku, Finland).1

A low-cost application (app) has been developed that uses the phone’s own accelerometer and gyroscope to check for AF.

The study he presented tested the ability of a smartphone to detect AF without any add-on hardware. The study included 16 AF patients from the Turku Heart Centre. In addition, 20 recordings from healthy people were used as a control group data to validate the developed algorithm. To detect AF, a smartphone was placed on the chest of the patient, and accelerometer and gyroscope recordings were taken. Patients were advised to lie in a prone or supine position during the measurements.

Using this technology the investigators detected AF with a sensitivity and specificity of more than 95%.“We measure the actual motion of the heart via miniature accelerometers and gyroscopes that are already installed in today’s smartphones,” said Mr Koivisto. “No additional hardware is needed and people just need to install an app with the algorithm we developed.”

Mr Koivisto concluded: “This is a low cost, non-invasive way to detect atrial fibrillation that people can do themselves without any help from medical staff. Given the widespread use of smartphones, it has the potential to be used by large populations worldwide”.


1.  Koivisto T et al. Detecting atrial fibrillation via existing smartphones without any add-ons. Abstract 4237. Eur Heart J 2016;37 (Abstract supplement):825-6.

Published on: October 19, 2016

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  • ArrhythmiaAlliance
  • Stars
  • Anticoagulation Europe
  • Atrial Fibrillation Association

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