In England, a team of doctors have developed an early-warning system that can predict heart failure up to two hours before it happens. But it wasn't developed for humans, instead the new technology will be built into the next generation of Rolls-Royce aircraft engines.
The technology monitors the tiniest vibration in the engine which can be monitored on the ground or in the air. At the first moment something is slightly off, it sends off a red alert so that it can be adjusted before it becomes an emergency. The benefit health-wise is researchers are finding that a patient can be monitored using a medical version of the same piece of equipment.
"This brings second by second monitoring 24 hours a day seven days a week. I think it can relieve some of the burden of monitoring from the nursing staff," says Dr. James Price, with John Radcliffe Hospital.
As it is now, current monitoring systems require individual readings for heart rate, blood pressure and so on. This new system sweeps across and finds vital signs for unusual abnormalities that could lead to serious illness.
Researchers at Oxford University believe that the new technology could send out a warning at least two hours ahead of time, for example, that a person is about to have a heart attack. Further studies have just begun in this country.