(crédito: Divulgação/American Heart Association)

Images recorded on smartphones can detect stroke risk

posted on 8/17/2022 1:31 PM / updated on 8/17/2022 1:36 PM


(credit: Disclosure/American Heart Association)

Researchers at the American Heart Association (AHA) may have found a new way to test for the risk of strokes, known as strokes, using videos taken on smartphones.

Nearly 87% of all strokes are ischemic—those in which a vessel that supplies blood to the brain is blocked by a clot. This is because fatty deposits (plaque) can build up in the arteries, causing them to narrow (stenosis). It is these narrowed arteries in the carotid artery, which is in the neck, that can cause ischemic strokes.

The researchers were able to analyze images recorded on smartphones that accurately detected the narrowed arteries in the neck. From this, they observed minimal changes in the pulse characteristics on the skin surface captured in the recording.

“This was an exciting ‘eureka’ moment for us. Existing diagnostic methods – ultrasound, CT and MRI – require screening with medical imaging equipment and personnel. easy to perform, therefore, may offer an opportunity to increase screening”, points out Hsien-Li Kao, one of the authors of the study.

The accuracy of the analysis algorithm was 87% in detecting stenosis. We analyzed 202 Taiwanese adults, with a mean age of 68 years, and 79% were men.

“Exciting” results

Among the participants, 54% had significant carotid artery stenosis, that is, they had at least 50% of blockage previously diagnosed by ultrasound, while 46% had no significant stenosis.

Cellphone recordings were captured with participants lying on their backs, with their heads tilted back in a custom case that minimized external movement. An iPhone 6 was set up to capture, in 30 seconds, images of the person’s neck. The older generation phone was used because researchers believed it would be more common for the average user.

After these scans, all study participants also underwent a standard Doppler ultrasound test to confirm the narrowing in their arteries and to evaluate and validate the video motion analysis estimates.

Reservations and new studies

Experts say further studies are needed to determine the effectiveness of smartphones to help speed up and increase stroke screening. “Carotid artery stenosis is silent until a stroke occurs. With this method, doctors can record a video of the patient’s neck with a smartphone, send the videos for analysis and receive a report within five minutes. Early detection of stenosis of the carotid artery can improve patient outcomes,” explains Kao.

The author also points out that the study has limitations, such as the number of participants and that all were considered to be at high risk for a cardiovascular event. They also didn’t take into account the length and angle of the neck and that this could affect the results of the analysis of the videos.

However, the results — which were published in the scientific journal Journal of the American Heart Associationthis Wednesday (17/8) — are promising according to experts.

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