Science has established that your face can tell you about your heart condition, even it can hide a million mysteries.
A new study says that the facial features can reflect whether or not a person is experiencing atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is a condition where a person experiences abnormal heart rhythm associated with palpitations, chest pain, fainting and congestive heart failure. The study is published online in the journal 'Heart Rhythm'.
Researchers explained that a combination of web camera and software algorithms developed by Xerox Corporation Ltd can help demonstrate changes in skin color, that is usually imperceptible to naked human eye. These imbalances in the facial skin could help you in detecting the uneven blood flow caused by atrial fibrillation.
Jean-Philippe Couderc, University of Rochester's heart research follow-up program said, "This technology holds the potential to identify and diagnose cardiac disease using contact less video monitoring."
Researchers also explained the role and functioning of digital cameras in detecting the change in skin color and also how changes in skin tone can further be mapped to detect the heart health. Sensors in digital cameras are designed to record three colors: red, green and blue. Hemoglobin, a component of blood, absorbs more of the green in the spectrum of light and this subtle change can be detected by the camera's sensor.
To compare the facial scan and the actual electrical activity of the heart, the researchers connected the participants to an electrocardiogram (ECG), during the studies and they found that the color changes detected by video monitoring corresponded with an individual's heart rate as detected on an ECG.
It was also noted that the video monitoring technique called videoplethymography had an error rate of 20 percent, comparable to the 17 to 29 percent error rate associated with ECG measurements.
Couderc explained, "Essentially, the irregular electrical activity of the heart found in people with atrial fibrillation could be identified by observing the pulses of blood flowing through the veins on the face as it absorbed or reflected green light with each heart beat."