The loudspeaker that can save your life

It detects signs of a heart attack thanks to your virtual assistant

Smart devices and portable technology continue advancing day after day to improve people’s quality of life, especially in the field of E-health. Thanks to wearables and Artificial Intelligence (AI), we always have services and resources available to us to control our levels of health, such as 24 hour virtual medical services or devices that enable us to measure blood pressure; in addition to being able to control our metabolism, track our hours of sleep, monitor our physical performance, etc. 

Additionally, the use of technology in search of personal and physical well-being is not something private and domestic, each day an increasing number of health professionals try to adapt these devices as a work tool; a good example of this are Smart glasses used in operating theatres.

Equally, the use of “smart medicines” is becoming increasingly common, since they enable us to record and monitor the taking of medication in real time using different mechanisms included in the pharmaceutical form (whether inhalers, multi-dose subcutaneous injections, etc.)”

According to a report drafted by the Global Web Index, 81% of users of “Wearables” associate them with improving their health and lifestyle.

Altavoz portátil inteligente


The presence of smart speakers or virtual voice assistants in homes has experienced a growth in recent years, especially in the United States where their success has been unrivalled.

According to a study by NPR (public radio) in the USA, “the percentage of home owners that now use smart speakers to listen to the news has grown from 55 to 62% from Spring 2019 to Spring 2020.”

Despite its exponential growth, especially in 2020, 50% of questions asked to Alexa still have not found an answer according to VoiceISDIgital, the first study of answers to voice technologies carried out in collaboration between NPR and Webedia.


Smart speakers have become our friend; DJ, kitchen helper, weather forecaster, even cardiologist!

They serve as a link between patients and healthcare teams, becoming an essential ally of many patients who feel safer using these virtual assistants.

The University of Washington has created an Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool using these speakers as genuine health professionals that are capable of detecting the signs of a heart attack thanks to your breathing.

“The good thing is that, if you can detect these sounds of agonal breathing, you can double or triple the chances of that person surviving, if you can get someone to perform  resuscitation immediately” Shyam Gollakota, professor from the University of Washington notes to GeekWire magazine.

In addition, Alexa, Amazon’s speaker, can connect to an app on your smartphone and call the emergency services if you suffer a heart attack.

Altavoces Alexa

Las Provincias newspaper states that:

“For the moment, the results are positive. The machine properly identifies the breathing associated with a heart attack 97% of the time. 0.14% of occasions, it was mistaken, believing that normal breathing was indicative of a heart attack.”

The idea emerged when experts and researchers discovered that patients who contact the emergency services and are suffering from a heart attack follow a common pattern: a broken voice, which is where Alexa notices the symptoms to call the emergency services quickly and save the person’s life.


Heart attacks aren’t the only diseases that Alexa could detect. The Polytechnic University of Cartagena (UPCT) is working on the detection of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease using virtual assistants.