Using Smartphones and Laptops to Simulate Deadly Heart Arrhythmias

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Flavio Fenton, a professor in the School of Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology, examines cardiac and fluid flow simulations created on a system that uses graphics processing chips designed for gaming applications and software that runs on ordinary web browsers. (Photo: Allison Carter, Georgia Tech)

Smartphone screens show cardiac arrhythmia simulations running on the graphics processing units of the mobile devices using the new software. (Photo: Allison Carter, Georgia Tech)

Professor Flavio Fenton and Research Scientist Abouzar Kaboudian discuss simulations running on a system that uses graphics processing chips designed for gaming applications and software that runs on ordinary web browsers. (Photo: Allison Carter, Georgia Tech)

Researchers have developed a system that uses graphics processing chips designed for gaming applications and software that runs on ordinary web browsers to produce simulations that formerly required high-powered computers. Shown are Abouzar Kaboudian, Flavio Fenton and Elizabeth Cherry. (Photo: Allison Carter, Georgia Tech)

Georgia Tech Research Scientist Abouzar Kaboudian examines cardiac and fluid flow simulations created on a system that uses graphics processing chips designed for gaming applications and software that runs on ordinary web browsers. (Photo: Allison Carter, Georgia Tech)

Using graphics processing chips designed for gaming applications and software that runs on ordinary web browsers, researchers are modeling deadly spiral wave heart arrhythmias on personal computers – even high-end smartphones. That could put the real-time 3D modeling into the hands of clinicians who may one day use the system to diagnose and treat these abnormal heart rhythms.