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Test your heart with an arrhythmia shopping cart

    arrhythmia shopping cart

    It’s now feasible to keep track of your heart rate while indulging in your daily shopping. A team of scientists has created a device that can be integrated into the handle of a shopping cart, allowing it to identify a common heart rhythm disorder. I must admit that grocery store prices can make my blood pressure rise. Do I want the store to know I have a heart condition? They already know what I buy. Gives a whole new meaning to shop till you drop.

    In a study named SHOPS-AF, researchers used supermarket carts equipped with electrocardiogram (ECG) sensors to identify atrial fibrillation in shoppers. This innovative approach has the potential to detect such heart conditions early, preventing potentially fatal strokes. Researchers at Liverpool John Moores University in the UK have created a discreet device called MyDiagnostick. It is a cylindrical gadget that records a single-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) when a participant touches the metal electrodes on it. MyDiagnostick’s internal software analyzes the ECG over a minute while the contact is maintained. The researchers opted to embed the device into the handles of supermarket carts to make it unobtrusive.

    Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a prevalent heart disorder where the upper chambers of the heart (atria) beat irregularly and out of sync with the lower chambers (ventricles). It can occur episodically or permanently, and many people are unaware of its presence. However, AF can lead to the formation of blood clots in the heart, increasing the risk of stroke by five times. (read full study)