Heart disease is the leading killer in the United States, and the world for that matter. Heart disease as a killer is a combination of many things. These include things such as your family background, smoking, stress, high cholesterol, and poor eating habits just to name a few. The problems were first mostly adults and the elderly, but over the past few decades, we have seen the problem more and more in children. As the technology and television age came into existence, the amount of physical activity also went down dramatically among children. When this is shared up with poor eating habits, the combination can be deadly. Doctors and researchers alike are always looking for new methods to track and stop heart attacks and strokes. They have looked into various preventative care methods to various tests to track different vital signs.
A recent study combined the use of a pulse oximeter and imaging of the heart to check for calcium build up. These scans are called coronary calcium scans, which create detailed images which show whether plaque has built up in the heart. When plague builds up in the heart, the arteries harden, causing a condition called atherosclerosis. If these conditions are observed before hand and monitored, a heart attack or stroke can be avoided. This has proved to be very effective in its preliminary tests. A pulse oximeter, also known as a pulse ox, is a medical device used to measure the blood saturation and pulse rate of an individual, is used in conjunction with this new test. The pulse oximeter constantly takes readings of the patient, which are recorded. These readings are then graphed in relation to various conditions of the heart which are imaged. This allows for doctors to connect various readings from a pulse oximeter to predictions of various heart conditions, which could also lead to various respiratory illnesses. Tests like this one are always looked highly upon, because their developers have thought outside of the box. What makes this test more user friendly, is the fact that a modern pulse oximeter allows a patient to be mobile and take readings from anywhere. It is compact and runs on standard batteries. Some pulse oximeter models even allow for the storage and transfer of data. This works very well for patients who want to share their information with their doctor on a weekly or daily basis.