Class X student develops device to predict silent heart attacks

07 March 2017

A class X student from Tamil Nadu, Akash Manoj, has developed a device to predict silent heart attacks. According to commentators, the device had the potential to save thousands of lives in India every year.

Manoj took up the project after the death of his grandfather from a silent heart attack. ''He was a diabetic and had high blood pressure, but he was healthy otherwise. He had a silent heart attack, collapsed and died,'' The Hindustan Times quoted Manoj as saying.

Manoj started working on a device that could detect silent heart attacks following the death of his grandfather.

While a heart attack is characterised by chest pain, pain in the left arm or shortness of breath, in a silent heart attack, these signs may not be present. Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels are known to put people at increased risk of silent heart attacks.

People who suffer a silent heart attack could end up having another heart attack, which could be fatal. Having another heart attack also increased the risk of complications, such as heart failure.

Manoj has invented a skin patch, that can be worn on the wrist or the back of the ear. The patch releases a small 'positive' electrical impulse, which attracts the negatively charged protein released by the heart to signal a heart attack. If the quantity of this protein, FABP3 goes up, the person needed to seek immediate medical.

Manoj is currently staying in Rashtrapati Bhawan as a guest of president Pranab Mukherjee, under the "Innovation Scholars In-Residence Programme".

"Silent heart attacks are extremely deadly and alarmingly common these days. In these cases, almost no symptoms are evident and thus people look so healthy to us," Manoj said during the Festival of Innovation organised in Rashtrapati Bhavan.

"My grandfather also looked healthy but one day he collapsed following a sudden heart attack," he said.

"FABP3 is one of the smallest proteins that can be present in blood and is charged negatively (so it attracts positive charges). I used these properties in this technique," Manoj said.

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