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Mobile application to locate victims during natural calamities

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image source: www.jpl.nasa.gov
New Delhi: A doctor’s initiative in harnessing technology has produced an mobile application which can help locate a person trapped in debris in an earthquake or other disasters when communications fail.

Pradeep Bhardwaj, CEO of Six Sigma High Altitude Medical Services for Rescue, says his company has developed a software application which can be tracked through the mobile phone.

The concept is based on ham radio used by amateurs to communicate with one another. However, the application developed by Six Sigma, which can be downloaded to a mobile phone, is not for communication but for continuously sending out a signal which can be detected by special equipment.

“The application does not require mobile network or internet connection to communicate. This is based on satellite which will continuously transmit coded signals but which cannot be used to communicate,” Bhardwaj to IANS.

The transmitted signals can be detected within a radius of 50 kilometres.

He said that keeping the security concerns in mind, the application had been designed in such a way that people tracking the signal can get information on its location with accuracy. Bhardwaj said the Telecommunications Ministry had already given them a licence to operate the system.

Six Sigma medical services have been recognised by the Central government, several state governments and countries like Nepal and China for its contribution in saving and counselling thousands of people during the Uttrakhand cloud-burst in 2013, Nepal earthquake in 2015 and China earthquakes, Bhardwaj said.

“The Real Time Location application is made keeping in mind the rescue operations in high altitude areas where mobile towers network or Internet fails being hit by a natural calamity. People or soldiers who get trapped in the debris or snow can easily be helped out using the application,” Bhardwaj said.

Till now, Bhardwaj said, he and his team had saved more than 5,600 victims who were stuck in high altitudes.

The Six Sigma is also known for setting up a base camp at a height of 24,500 feet on Mount Everest during the Nepal earthquake, where they had played a major role in helping the Indian Army rescue people.

Bhardwaj said they would send a proposal on the application to the Health Ministry soon, urging it to get it installed in the cell phones of soldiers and people living in high altitude areas which are prone to earthquakes and landslides.

C.K. Misra, additional health Secretary in the ministry of health, told IANS: “This is a good initiative which will help people in high altitude areas. But, he said, the government would need to look into such applications.”

Bhardwaj claimed the application could have helped track Indian soldiers caught in the avalanche recently in Siachen, had these been installed in their mobile phones.(IANS)

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Doctors Feel Blessed on New Heart Health Tools in Apple Watch in India

The medical fraternity on Friday welcomed the arrival of the ECG app and irregular rhythm notification feature on Apple Watch for users in India

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Apple, Apple Watch, Heart health, app, health app, doctors
"The results can be shared with the doctors so that any major complication can be averted." Pixabay

The medical fraternity on Friday welcomed the arrival of the ECG app and irregular rhythm notification feature on Apple Watch for users in India, stressing that it will make people more aware about their heart health.

Although the Apple Watch will not provide a final conclusion into whether a person is actually suffering from Atrial fibrillation (AFib) — irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clot formation in the heart which then embolises to the brain causing stroke — the readings will make more Indians consult their physicians about their heart health, doctors feel.

Although accurate worldwide estimates are lacking, calculations suggest that over one per cent of the adult population is affected in the developed world, wrote Vijay Bohra, Gautam Sharma and Rajnish Juneja from Department of Cardiology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in their research.

“In our country, there is virtually no data on AF (AFib), most of the data that has been derived is from international studies with an Indian cohort,” the trio wrote, adding that there is “indeed a dearth of data on epidemiologic outcomes in patients of rheumatic AF in the country leading to inconsistent practice patterns as regards medical therapy, especially oral anticoagulation”.

According to Mukesh Goel, Senior Consultant, Cardio Thoracic & Vascular Surgery, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, AFib is more prone in those patients who are predisposed to have AFib and stroke.

Apple, Apple Watch, Heart health, app, health app, doctors
Comparisons between irregular pulse-detection on Apple Watch and simultaneous electrocardiography patch recordings showed the pulse detection algorithm has 71 per cent positive predictive value. Pixabay

“Generally, we do holter monitoring (a small, wearable device that keeps track of your heart rhythm) or extended holter monitoring which is a 24-hour ECG monitoring system, to detect AFib in the patients. However, it is not always necessary that these 2-3 episodes of AFib will occur during the time of the holter monitoring,” Goel told IANS.

Hence, in such cases, Apple Watch will be playing a vital role in detecting AFib in time, he added.

“Having said this, a person must wear the Watch both during day and night so that the occurrence of AFib is detected well in time,” Goel suggested.

New electrodes built into the back crystal and Digital Crown on Apple Watch Series 4 or later, work together with the ECG app to enable customers to take an ECG similar to a single-lead reading.

To take an ECG recording at any time or following an irregular rhythm notification, hold their finger on the Digital Crown. As the user touches the Digital Crown, the circuit is completed and electrical signals across their heart are measured.

After 30 seconds, the heart rhythm is classified as either AFib, sinus rhythm or inconclusive.

Sanjiv Bhardwaj, Associate Director, Department of Interventional Cardiology at Jaypee Hospital Noida said that smartwatches and fitness bands are now playing a vital role in updating the users about their heart health and the possible risk factors related to cardiovascular diseases.

Apple, Apple Watch, Heart health, app, health app, doctors
Apple Watch will help identify AF and rhythm disorders and this will surely help in early identification of disease. Pixabay

“Advanced and modern features like an ECG app and irregular heart rhythm monitor will surely be a huge help to the users. They can easily get the notifications about their heart rhythm and its classification in less than a minute.

“The results can be shared with the doctors so that any major complication can be averted,” Bhardwaj told IANS.

With watchOS 6, the irregular rhythm notification feature on Apple Watch Series 4 and the upcoming Series 5 on September 27 will use the optical heart sensor to occasionally check the user’s heart rhythm in the background for signals of an irregular heart rhythm that appears to be AFib.

If irregular heart rhythm such as AFib is identified on five rhythm checks over a minimum of 65 minutes, a notification will be generated to alert the user.

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“Technology is moving at lightning speed and Apple is surely abreast with it. Rhythm identification via the phone is no longer a dream,” said Aparna Jaswal, Associate Director, Cardiology & Electrophysiology, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi.

“Apple Watch will help identify AF and rhythm disorders and this will surely help in early identification of disease,” she said.

The irregular rhythm notification feature was recently studied in the Apple Heart Study. With over 400,000 participants, the Apple Heart Study was the largest screening study on atrial fibrillation ever conducted. (IANS)