This app turns your smartphone into an ultrasound to measure heart health

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(Danielle Kirsh/ Medical Design) — Engineers at the California Institute of Technology have turned a smartphone camera into an ultrasound to non-invasively give detailed information about someone’s heart health.

Ultrasound scans take 45 minutes using the machine. Using the Caltech-developed app, the procedure is cut down to a minute or two.

Huntington Medical Research Institute engineers created a technique that could interpret the left ventricular ejection fraction (LEF) of the heart by measuring the displacement of the skin caused by the carotid artery on the new as blood pumps through.

LVEF is an indicator of how much blood is pumped from the heart with each heartbeat. Normal hearts have an LVEF range of 50 to 70%. Weaker hearts tend to have lower LVEF values.

“In a surprisingly short period of time, we were able to move from invention to the collection of validating clinical data,” Mory Gharib, senior author of the paper, said in a press release. (…)

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