Smartphone app could speed diagnosis of heart attacks

Smartphone apps have had an impact on nearly every aspect of life, and one of the latest programs could have a significant influence on healthy aging. An app presented at the recent American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2013 proved to be more effective at transmitting diagnostic images for heart attack than emails, something which could improve treatment.

The new technology was geared specifically toward identifying ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), one of the most dangerous forms of heart attack, which is caused by a clot blocking blood flow to the heart. Having this speedy method of delivering electrocardiogram results could play a big role in helping administer treatment as quickly as possible.

"Simple cellular technology can save lives," said Dr. David R. Burt, the study's lead author. "This system may make pre-hospital ECG transmission a more inexpensive and reliable option. That can translate to faster treatment and saved lives."

Such developments could aid in the well-being of many seniors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 715,000 Americans experience a heart attack each year, many of which are first-time incidents.