How can they do that? Thanks to the work of researchers at the University of Washington, they are developing a tool that can leverage the smart speakers in our homes to help detect when a person is experiencing a cardiac arrest. This is by using the microphones in our smart speakers to detect what is known as agonal breathing, where someone might be trying to gasp for air, a symptom of cardiac arrest.
This means that in the event the speakers can pick up on it, it will be able to call for help and hopefully save that person’s life. According to Shyam Gollakota, one of the researchers and authors of the study, “We envision a contactless system that works by continuously and passively monitoring the bedroom for an agonal breathing event, and alerts anyone nearby to come provide CPR. And then if there’s no response, the device can automatically call 911.”
This would not be the first time that consumer gadgets are used to help save lives. We have heard countless stories of how the Apple Watch’s heart rate monitor and built-in ECG have saved the lives of its wearers by alerting them to problems early on, allowing them to seek help before it is too late.