We've already seen a couple of apps capable of detecting a heart condition which can cause strokes. Now, Spanish scientists have developed an Android app that lets users know if they've actually just experienced a stroke – and if it turns out that they have, it gets help.
Created by a team at Valencia's Polytechnic University, the app is presently still in the testing phase. It requires users to perform three tasks.
First, it has them try to smile for the smartphone's camera. If their face has been partially paralyzed (as often happens in a stroke), they won't be able to smile properly, which the app will detect in the image.
Next, they're asked to verbally repeat a simple sentence. The app uses the phone's mic to listen to their voice, and it notes if they're unable to speak the sentence coherently.
Finally, the user is asked to lift each of their arms while holding the smartphone. Using the phone's accelerometer, the app is able to tell if one arm cannot be lifted as high as the other – this is yet another stroke indicator.
If two or more of the task results indicate that a stroke has occurred, the app automatically contacts emergency services, plus it sends a message to a contact predefined by the user.
"Despite the awareness campaigns carried out by different entities, many people are unable to identify the signs of this condition," says associate professor Jaime Lloret. "Smartphones seem to be a good platform on which to develop applications aimed at people's health, such as in this case, to carry out an early detection of a pathology which affects 120,000 people in Spain alone."
There is currently no word on when the app may be available to the public.
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