Toyota is working on a “smart car” that might also have the power to save a life, with technology on board that could predict if the driver is about to experience a cardiac event.
The Japanese car manufacturer, in conjunction with Michigan Medicine, began by gathering data from “heart patches” worn by drivers to see if, ultimately, such monitoring technology could be integrated into the vehicle itself. When a cardiac event is sensed, the car would come to a safe stop.
According to an article in the Daily Mail, researchers want to see, “What it will take to generate a system that could look at the physiology of a person, provided by high-density electrocardiogram (ECG) measurements, as well as other medical measurements.”
Not surprisingly, implementing such on-board technology is proving to be quite challenging. For example, will the medical monitoring equipment be able to distinguish between subtle changes in heart rhythm from all the motion and noise that comes with riding in a vehicle?
With a growing population of older drivers, incidents of medical-related motor vehicle crashes will likely also increase, making this sort of technology even more critical. One day, such built-in health monitoring capabilities might become as common a safety feature in our cars as back-up cameras and child safety locks. Perhaps they’ll even include recorded instructions on how to perform CPR to guide passengers in responding to such an emergency.
Toyota plans to present their findings by 2020.
No need to wait for your future car to come to the rescue when you can take an emergency care class today. Find an ASHI or MEDIC First Aid Training Center near you to discover how easy it is to learn the lifesaving skills of first aid, CPR and AEDs.