Cardiac arrest is defined as the unanticipated stop of heart activity. This may occur in a victim who has or doesn’t have a preexisting heart issue. It can occur spontaneously or after the occurrence of other symptoms. It is always important to detect cardiac arrest early. This way,the individual can receive CPR,and be lucky enough to reach the hospital in time and get medical attention. If this doesn’t happen, a person can die quickly after some time of the cardiac arrest.

Cardiac arrest can be caused by several factors. However, there are two leading causes; ventricular fibrillation & atrial fibrillation.

Ventricular fibrillation occurs when the two ventricles within the heart lose normal rhythm. This affects the overall heartbeat rhythm. Blood transport slows down and can even stop altogether.

Atrial fibrillation occurs when the upper chambers (atria) lose their normal rhythm. This arrhythmia begins when the pacemaker in the heart fails to produce an appropriate electrical signal. This process hinders the ventricles from sending blood efficiently to all organs and tissues.

In the United States of America, close to half of a million cases of cardiac arrest incidents happen each year. Most of these happen at work, home, or on the road. Many cases do not usually occur in a hospital.

It is then essential to have an early detection mechanism to notice manifestations of cardiac arrest. Timely detection can prevent death. Time matters when it comes to an arrest, the faster you get medical attention, the higher the probability of survival.

Cardiac arrest and Heart Attack

The words heart attack and cardiac arrest are frequently thought to be the same medical issue. It is important to note that a cardiac arrest may occur as a result of a heart attack.

However, the two terms do not describe the same medical condition. Prompt therapy of a heart attack can assist in preventing and detecting cardiac arrest.

A heart attack is triggered by an obstruction in the transportation of blood. This mostly happens when a blood vessel supplying oxygenated blood to the heart is blocked. If the obstruction is not removed, a section of the heart will start to perish.

If this continues over time, a person may suffer more heart damage that may result in cardiac arrest. The manifestations of a heart attack are as follows: shortness of breath, nausea, neck or back pain, discomfort in the chest area, and discomfort in arm or shoulder.

These signs can happen immediately and continue for several weeks. The symptoms may differ among individuals based on their gender. When a heart attack happens, normal pumping and blood transport ceases.

As discussed earlier cardiac arrest arises when a defect in the heart that causes uneven heartbeats. This affects the action of blood transport to vital organ systems.

Symptoms include fainting, palpitations, chest discomfort, agonal breathing, dizziness, and fatigue. These will happen suddenly, and within seconds the person will be unconscious. Death occurs if the individual doesn’t receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation and therapeutic aid.

Cardiac arrest can happen alongside or following a heart attack. The majority of heart attacks don’t result in a cardiac arrest. However, a heart attack raises the chances of a cardiac arrest.

Smart listening AI: How it can be a Game-changer in Detecting Labored Breathing

Agonal breathing can be a rather simple method of diagnosing cardiac arrest. Agonal respiration is an abnormal rhythm of breathing that can be identified by involuntary muscle spasms, gasping for air, and difficulty in breathing.

Agonal breathing doesn’t provide sufficient oxygen to the lungs. It is an indication that oxygen is not reaching organs and tissues efficiently. If left untreated, it may lead to cessation of breathing and even death.

This form of breathing is an indication that the brain is still alive, but oxygen supply is low. Immediate CPR should begin when agonal respiration occurs.

It is a known fact that when you detect cardiac arrest, promptly, chances of survival go up significantly. Most affected people may not have the ability to call on paramedics when a cardiac arrest affects them. It is through this necessity that the creation of smart listening AI was born.

Smart devices are any form of an electronic system that can listen and act on the users’ inputs. These devices can be phones, tablets, and smart speakers configured to identify agonal respiration.

All devices that created to identify cardiac arrest are referred to as contactless cardiac arrest detection systems.

This means that they act without any human contact. They record, analyze, and provide feedback autonomously. 

Since labored breathing has a distinct sound, it can be used as a metric to detect cardiac arrest. Hypothetically, household smart devices can be used to identify gasping breathing in a home or work setting.

Since there is extensive use of smart devices within the globe, it is only natural to develop a software system that can detect agonal breathing. This system can then relay the information to emergency service providers and other close individuals.

A significant challenge when designing such a diagnostic system is being able to obtain actual information on agonal breathing. A smart listening AI system must be able to detect audio parameters that indicate labored respiration accurately.

Original agonal respiration data must be used when designing the diagnostic systems. Recordings from paramedic crisis calls often contain labored breathing audio in the background. These pieces of sound are used in creating positive controls which can be used as a reference database.

Negative controls are made by recording ambient building sounds as well as soundrelated to labored respiration that include snoringor even hypopnea. Both of these positive and negative controls play a vital role in the development of the vocal diagnostic tool.

The controls help to assess if audio diagnostic software can be educated to detectagonal respiration related sounds. They also evaluate if the software can precisely discern labored breathing from other sounds when it is placed in a smart speaker or phone device.

The Working Mechanism of Smart Listening AI

The listening device records audio samples through the phone or speaker. It then gives out results whether labored breathing is occurring or not. The recorded sound wave is placed in a spectrogram system that separates and compresses audio.

Isometric smart speaker with title voice assistant analyst reports. Voice activated digital assistants and automated voice command report concept. Blue violet background. Vector 3d illustration.

A support vector machine is then used to separate positive information from negative information. Positive information includes audio that sounds like agonal respiration. Negative information provides audio that is not characterized as labored breathing.

A frequency filter then works to differentiate sound based on amplitude and time-frequency. This filter helps the system to differentiate various types of sounds which further helps in reducing the chances of having untrue positive results.

In a proof of concept experiment, smart devices were trained to identify gasping noises using this mechanism. The results were processed and released in a near real-time instant.

The Pros of Using a Smart Listening AI system

Since the intelligent listening AI device was created to fulfill the proof of concept, it helps to analyze its efficiency in detecting agonal respiration.

In the recent proof of concept test, eighty-two hours of positive control data were collected. Eighty-three hours of negative information was also noted. The recordings were then tested at different measurements with separate interference noises.

The findings from the experiment showed that the amount of false-positive was at 0.15%. This was for more than a quarter of a million samples that were tested.

The tool was found to be about ninety-seven percent accurate at identifying labored breathing at a distance of 20 feet.

Although the system is still in the proof of concept step, it already has so much potential. Several improvements must be added before they can meet commercial-use or public standards. 

Researchers have indicated that they may require more positive data to feed to the system to make it more accurate so that bystanders and medics do not get false cardiac arrest and CPR alerts.

Another bone of contention is in the development of a device that can detect cardiac arrest is the privacy of patient info. Developers say they intend to build a tool with no storage space or cloud-storage capabilities

In conclusion:

Cardiac arrests incidents that occur at a home or work scenario are a grave concern within the medical sector.

They are rampant and are spread out all over the country.  Prompt administration of CPR, as well as an additional treatment, can increase the possibility of recovering from an attack.

And because early detection means higher chances of survival, we should embrace tech that can help us detect these cases early.

That’s why contactless identification of gasping respiration is an invaluable piece of technology that will help save lives. The devices enable early detection of labored breathing and this can ensure timely action and administration of CPR.