SMART speakers like the Amazon Echo can be used to detect signs of cardiac arrest, scientists say.

Researchers have developed an AI tool that will allow the devices to recognise unique sounds associated with an attack — agonal breathing — and call the emergency services.

 Smart speakers such as the Amazon Echo could be used to save the lives of people suffering with sudden cardiac arrest

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Smart speakers such as the Amazon Echo could be used to save the lives of people suffering with sudden cardiac arrestCredit: Alamy

Tests found it could be detected 97 per cent of the time on a smart speaker up to 20ft away.

Dr Jacob Sunshine, of the University of Washington, US, said: “This kind of breathing happens when a patient experiences really low oxygen levels. It’s a guttural, gasping noise.

“Its uniqueness makes it a good audio biomarker to identify if someone is having a cardiac arrest.”

His team tested more than 7,000 recordings of agonal breathing alongside clips of other types of breathing, including snoring and sleep apnoea.

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They will now work on refining the algorithm, but hope it will be used to “passively monitor” for such attacks in homes.

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