Local 12: Researchers discover AI helps provide better data in the study of the heart

UC expert is researching how wearables can help treat atrial fibrillation

A new study shows that artificial intelligence (AI) could help collect more information through smartwatches, and it could even help reduce a person's odds of a heart-related event. The new study found that people who use wearable devices, such as an Apple Watch, can get much better heart data with the help of AI. Local 12 produced a story on the study, interviewing Richard Becker, MD, of the Division of Cardiovascular Health and Disease at the UC College of Medicine, who is conducting research on how wearables could help treat atrial fibrillation in a more targeted fashion. 

Researchers give those involved in that study an Apple Watch. Then the study participants only take medication if the watch alerts researchers that they need it.

Richard Becker, MD

Richard Becker, MD, professor in the UC Division of Cardiovascular Health and Disease at the UC College of Medicine/Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Marketing + Brand

"We could get the best of both worlds," said Becker. "We use a blood thinning medicine to reduce stroke when it’s needed, but not have that risk of bleeding, should a person not have recurring episodes of atrial fibrillation.

Researchers in this study in the journal Nature have figured out what may one day help take a study like this one step further.

When a watch moves on a person’s wrist, it creates noise that can interfere with data collection. This study found AI can help overcome that obstacle.

"They're modeled in such a way that they could take out the noise, meaning there’s a lot of artifact from movement and breathing a variety of things,” Becker said. “What that means is with a wearable device, we might be able to tell a lot about not just a person’s heart rhythm, as we're studying in REACT-AF, but also about the pumping activity of their heart.”

Studying pumping activity, in addition to electrical activity, through wearable devices, could help prevent many more heart events.

"It gives us a reach that we currently don’t have,” said Becker.

Anyone in the country can be enrolled in this heart rhythm study. AI is not a part of it. Researchers will provide the technology and medication needed at no cost.

See the entire story here

Read more about UC research on wearable technology and cardiac issues here

Lead image at top/iStock

Next Lives Here

The University of Cincinnati is classified as a Research 1 institution by the Carnegie Commission and is ranked in the National Science Foundation's Top-35 public research universities. UC's graduate students and faculty investigate problems and innovate solutions with real-world impact. Next Lives Here.

Related Stories


WLWT: COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Ohio

January 11, 2021

COVID-19 vaccine providers across Ohio will soon get better guidance about the next steps for getting shots into arms. Brett Kissela, MD, spoke to WLWT-TV, Channel 5 and said the benefits of the vaccine outweigh any potential side effects.