New findings have suggested that adding sensors to supermarket trolleys could save people’s lives.
Scientists investigated whether installing electrocardiogram (ECG) sensors – designed to check the heart’s rhythm – on the handles of supermarket, trolleys could identify shoppers with atrial fibrillation, which causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate. The sensors would detect heart conditions that put them at increased risk of stroke.
The researchers said that over the course of two months, they identified 39 people who were unaware that they had the condition.
Ian Jones, professor of cardiovascular nursing at Liverpool John Moores University, who led the study, said: “That’s 39 people at greater risk of stroke who received a cardiologist appointment.”
He added: “This study shows the potential of taking health checks to the masses without disrupting daily routines.”
It is estimated that around 1.5 million people in the UK have atrial fibrillation, contributing to one in five strokes.
The condition is treatable, but at least another 270,000 people in the UK remain undiagnosed and unaware, according to the British Heart Foundation.