Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Mobile Sim

Heart simulator useful for studying and treating arrhythmias that can run on a smartphone

21 April 2019

Mobile Sim

Today’s smartphones are as powerful as some computers, and technology is constantly improving. Here their pocket-sized processors are being put to good use for doctors – never without their phones to access records and messages – doing something that requires a little more power. Mathematical models simulate beating hearts (grey) – highlighting waves of electrical activity in each ventricle chamber in rainbow colours. Each virtual ventricle compares with similar patterns seen in living hearts (to the right) from pigs (top row) and rabbits (middle). Tweaking the model’s settings produces simulations to match human patients (bottom), potentially giving doctors a portable visual tool for studying, discussing and treating irregular beats, or arrhythmias. Heart simulations have their origins in the 1960s, when a computer the size of a small car might have been required to run much simpler models, begging the question – given another 60 years, what will smartphones be able to do for us?

Written by John Ankers

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