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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Cars may soon predict if the driver is about to have a heart attack

Scientists are developing a new system that can predict if a car driver is about to have a heart attack, a feature that would help avoid road accidents due to an unexpected cardiac event.

When a person has a medical emergency behind the wheel, fellow passengers and motorists also face risk of death or serious injury.

"A large number of traffic incidents are caused by medical conditions while driving, specifically cardiovascular events, such as myocardial infarction and myocardial ischemia," said Kayvan Najarian, from University of Michigan in the US.

"The medical event interferes with the driver's ability to safely drive and operate the car, causing the accident," said Najarian.

Researchers, in collaboration with Japanese automotive manufacturer Toyota, wanted to move towards technology that can monitor and analyse the physiology of the person driving and predict if they are going to have adverse cardiac events.

"We identified the challenges, potential solutions, hardware options and algorithmic approaches that could be potentially used," Najarian said.

"We concluded that cardiac events were conditions that are more feasible to detect with technology in the vehicle," he added.

Researchers are creating a system that could be placed in the vehicle to monitor and predict an adverse cardiac event.

"We would like to test hardware we had previously identified, and improve and validate our algorithmic solutions to see what it will take to generate a system that could look at the physiology of a person, provided by high-density electrocardiogram (ECG) measurements, as well as other medical measurements," Najarian said.