Partners in Cardiac Care
Biomedical engineer Jean Philippe Couderc uses video technology and webcams to measure subtle variations in skin color that can actually indicate risk for atrial fibrillation.
Jean Philippe Couderc, a biomedical engineer at the University, has partnered with Xerox Corporation to develop technology that can measure a person’s risk for atrial fibrillation (A-fib), a serious cardiac condition that affects 3.2 million people in the United States alone. About 30 percent of people who have heart arrhythmias don not know it until the condition manifests, for instance, as a stroke. Couderc uses video technology and webcams to measure subtle variations in skin color that can actually indicate risk for A-fib. The technology can help identify a problem long before it becomes debilitating or life-threatening.
Couderc is also working with IBM Corporation, using supercomputers to study the effectiveness of various drugs on patients with Long QT syndrome, a rare and serious heart condition. Together, they have constructed an advanced 3D computer heart model that replicates the human heart. They feed data from the University’s Holter ECG Warehouse (which provides thousands of electrocardiograms from patients with Long QT syndrome) into the heart model and then measure the heart model’s response to different drugs. This technology could eventually improve drug safety and help physicians target the most effective drugs for a patient.