An artificial intelligence (AI) telemonitor that monitors discharged heart patients for signs of heart failure has been developed by U.K. startup Heartfelt Technologies.

According to its developers, the telemonitoring solution uses an infrared time-of-flight 3D camera to automatically scan the discharged patient’s bare feet for signs of peripheral edema — which is a symptom of heart failure that is typically detectable roughly two weeks before hospital readmission.

Typically, following a heart failure episode, patients are often discharged from the hospital and instructed to monitor their symptoms — specifically, weight — daily once they return home. Yet, discharged patients often fail to follow this regimen, thereby resulting in preventable hospital readmissions.

Heartfelt Technologies sought to reduce such hospitalizations by offering a window for medication administration, and thus possibly preventing up to 75% of readmissions with its new device.

Installed in patients’ homes, the Heartfelt Technologies device is designed to track patients’ foot volume — or leg edema, which is a symptom associated with the onset of heart failure — each time the patient walks past the monitor.

As the patients pass the monitor, the device reportedly transmits data to the cloud for analysis, identifying any notable changes in foot volume and subsequently prompting medical professional interventions — for instance, prescribing appropriate medications.

The startup is also eyeing the device for potentially monitoring high-risk pregnancies.

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