Alexa, Do I Have An Irregular Heart Rhythm? Researchers Devise A Way For Smart Speakers To Monitor Heartbeats

“Alexa, how’s my health?” The first AI system for contactless monitoring of heart rhythm using smart speakers has been developed. Created by researchers at the University of Washington the system works by emitting audio signals into the room at a volume humans can’t hear. As the pulses bounce back to the speaker, an algorithm works to identify beating patterns generated from a human’s chest wall. A second algorithm is then applied to determine the amount of time between two heartbeats. That information, known as inter-beat intervals, could help doctors gauge how well your heart is functioning. Researchers trained the speakers to pick up regular and irregular heart rhythms. The researchers used a developer version of Alexa with a low-quality speaker to run their tests and they say speakers in mainstream devices could be more powerful, enabling readings from farther away.