Wristwatch device detects cardiac arrest


A wrist-worn device to detect loss of pulse in cases of cardiac arrest has been successful in an early-stage trial in the US.

The results of the Phase I study are key in developing a non-invasive method to monitor patients at risk of sudden cardiac death.

John Rickard, MD of the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues suggested that the device, or a developed version, could reduce the number of deaths resulting from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), by shortening the period between onset and medical response.

They said that the technology shows promise for the early detection of OHCA and “could provide a tool to hasten response times”.

The Wriskwatch consists of a piezoelectric disk, which straps tightly against the pulse point on the wrist. It can therefore identify episodes of pulselessness or ventricular fibrillation.

When this occurs, the device transmits a Bluetooth radio signal, contacting emergency services as well as friends or relatives who have been appointed to receive such news.

A motion sensor is included to block an alert unless the wrist is still. To avoid false alarms, the developers are currently working on only allowing the device to activate when the wearer is unconscious.

The study revealed that the Wriskwatch correctly monitored pulse status in 26 of the 29 evaluated patients in the study.

Each year, approximately 300,000 people in the US experience an OHCA, with an estimated 92% of those dying from the event.