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Cloudy with a chance of sudden death
Date:10/20/2011

r patients in the upcoming NIH study -- arose while Deem and colleagues searched for proof that the new law could explain what was observed in biological systems. They found the equation could explain observations from genomics, microbiology, physiology and ecology. It even explained some patterns of activity in the global trade network.

The evidence for one of their physiological tests was based on a study by critical-care physician Tim Buchman of Emory University's Center for Critical Care. Buchman and colleagues used EKGs to monitor the heart activity of subjects undergoing treadmill stress tests. During the tests, the speed and inclination of the treadmill was increased in increments, with each increase representing a new stress on the subjects' hearts.

Using Deem's mathematical theory, Buchman found a pattern of modularity -- a kind of hidden signal within the EKG data. This pattern showed how the heart was going to react several minutes later.

"The NIH was intrigued by these results," Deem said. "With its support, we are attempting to take this further and come up with a powerful mathematical tool, a piece of software that can provide clinicians with a patient-specific 'forecast.'"

Deem said the approach is feasible, in part, because emergency departments already capture a great deal of data about patients. In some cities, a patient's heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory pattern and other vital signs are relayed in real-time from the ambulance before the patient even arrives at the hospital. Critical-care units collect even more data that could be used to predict a patient's immediate future.

Emory intensive care unit teams focus on providing the "right care, right now, every time," said Buchman. "Today's best critical care aims to mitigate critical illness. With predictive tools based on Michael Deem's biological law, it's our hope to forecast and pre-empt life-threatening events. That's important for patients a
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Contact: Jade Boyd
jadeboyd@rice.edu
713-348-6778
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert  

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