Scientists at University College London (UCL) have developed an innovative vest to identify people at high risk of sudden cardiac death, a potentially revolutionary solution to a problem affecting millions in the UK.
According to the site euronewsThe United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS) reports that nearly two million people in the country have problems with the heart's electrical system, which is essential for a healthy heart rhythm.
The ECGI Vest (Electrocardiography Imaging Vest), developed by UCL, represents a major advance in the ability to monitor these problems by providing detailed electrical information about the heart.
With 256 sensors capturing a large amount of electrical information in just five minutes, the vest produces 3D maps of the heart. This technology allows doctors to monitor electrical propagation throughout all chambers of the heart, a feature that is not possible with traditional electrocardiography (ECG) methods, which are more complex and expensive.
The jacket is characterized by its low cost, ease of use and reusability. Unlike traditional ECG machines that require metal electrodes and gel, the ECGI vest uses dry electrodes, eliminating the need for gel and allowing for washing between uses. This feature not only reduces patient discomfort but also reduces environmental impact due to reduced waste production.
This technology will allow us, for the first time, to collect detailed electrical information from the heart and map it to structure and function in a safe way. It can be implemented on a scale of thousands of people at a very low price compared to other competing technologies.
Gaby Kaptur, cardiologist at the UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and the Royal Free Hospital
So far, the vest has been successfully tested on about 800 people, showing promising results for wider implementation. It is currently being used to map the hearts of patients with diseases such as hypertrophic and dilated cardiomyopathy.
The ECGI vest has the potential to be a game-changer in preventing sudden cardiac death. By providing detailed information about the heart's electrical activity in a non-invasive and accessible manner, it can be implemented on a large scale and at a relatively low cost.
This means that more people can be monitored and treated for potentially serious heart disease, greatly improving survival rates.
The invention of the ECGI vest by UCL researchers represents a major advance in medical technology. With its ability to provide detailed information about the heart's electrical activity quickly, non-invasively and affordably, the vest has the potential to become a vital tool in the fight against heart disease and sudden cardiac death.
As the vest undergoes further testing and implementation, it could be a crucial resource in diagnosing and preventing heart disease around the world.
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