This app is certified as a CE class IIa medical device and detects if you have atrial fibrillation

In recent years, the smartwatches They have become the devices par excellence for measuring certain vital signs of their users. A Apple Watchfor example, can monitor heart rate and provide information that may be useful to the user, but that in no case is it a substitute for a real medical examination in a hospitallike the same Manzana remember, in small print, in the information about the device. Various studies have found over the years that smart watches not reliable enough for clinical usethat its results should always be interpreted with caution and that to monitor health it is best to go to a hospital.

That doesn't seem to be the case CardioSignala Finnish startup led by Juuso Blomstera cardiologist with 20 years of practice, who has created an app of the same name that can detect if a user suffers atrial fibrillation. This is one of the types of arrhythmia most common, it produces symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue and palpitations, and if untreated it can lead the sufferer to suffer. a cerebrovascular accident such as a stroke, among other heart problems.

CardioSignal stands out for two aspects: it uses the accelerometer and the gyroscope of the mobile phone, two common sensors in these devices, to detect atrial fibrillation and it is a technology with a CE class IIa marking that certifies it as a medical device. In fact, it has been analyzed in about 20 peer-reviewed publications and is the first technology validated to detect heart problems without the need for specialized equipment. Its reliability, according to the company, is a 96%.

The operation is very simple. With the app, which is available for both Android as for iOSinstalled on this smartphone hovers over the user's heart for 1 minute so that accelerometer and gyroscope measure the movement of the heart. The collected data is sent to a cloud service for analysis and then presents the results to the user.

CardioSignal. Google Play.

The project began to take shape in 2011, when wearables with measurement functions for different aspects of health began to become popular. So Blomster, who was then in Australia, and his colleagues in Finland began testing the reliability of this type of device. They studied the possibility of using smartwatches to measure heart health, but found very difficult to obtain measurements with clinical reliability with them.

“After this, we started researching different types of sensors and very soon we realized that If you use two common sensors (on a phone), the accelerometer and the gyroscope, and place them on your chest, we can read your heart”, Blomster explained to The Next Web.

Smartphone motion sensors have evolved to the point of being sensitive enough to measure when the heart valves open and close, something that “can usually only be obtained with a cardiac ultrasound”.

When they compared the results of cardiac ultrasounds with those of CardioSIignal they found that The differences between both results were within the margins of errorwith which they realized that they could achieve great results with this technology.

At the moment, the app only detects atrial fibrillation problems, something that Apple and Samsung smart watches also do, but These do not have certification CE Class IIa of medical product. Later, CardioSignal will also be able to detect other pathologies such as aortic stenosis, coronary artery disease, and pulmonary artery hypertension. The next thing to arrive, in 2025, will be the detection of heart failure. CardioSignal is also working on the clinical validation of the measurement of these ailments.

“The key benefit is that it can directly measure your heart” when placed directly on it. Smartwatches are worn on the wrist, away from the organ they are measuring, so “a lot can happen between the two” when collecting the data, according to Blomster.

According to the CEO of CardioSignal, A smartphone can provide much more information than a smartwatch. These use a single data channel, the pulse of an optical sensor, while the accelerometer and gyroscope of a mobile phone provide a total of six data channels.

CardioSignal is an app that can be installed for free but requires a payment plan for your use. The prices are 4.99 euros per month, €13.99 for 3 months or €34.99 for 1 year, which leaves the monthly payment at €2.92. It is not about using it just once, but about doing it daily to monitor heart health in this regard. Keep in mind that the app has been designed for adults and that the company excludes people with a pacemaker from using it.