February is National Heart Month! While efforts to raise heart health awareness via videos, campaigns, and fact-sheets abound, heart disease remains a leading cause of death of Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Moreover, during the COVID-19 pandemic when so many people are restricted at home, it is critical—for those of all ages and abilities—to be as active as possible to maintain good health, the World Health Organization recommends.
Focus on Healthy Hearts
Did you know that heart disease—and the conditions that lead to it—can happen at any age? In light of national heart month, the CDC provides guidance on "4 Ways to Take Control of Your Heart Health," including managing conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, making heart-healthy eating changes (such as eating foods with low sodium), staying active, and avoiding smoking.
And as part of its "Love Your Heart" campaign, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has published Self-Care Tips for Heart Health, which also highlights how technology can support a healthy heart. These include wearable devices that measure steps, heart rate, and sleep, and at-home blood pressure, blood sugar, and heart rate monitors.
Standards developers play a significant role in monitoring health and hearts. As an example, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 150, Implants for surgery, Subcommittee (SC) 6, Active implants, for which ANSI serves as Secretariat, has developed several standards related to cardiac devices. These include ISO 14117:2019, which specifies test methodologies for the evaluation of the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) of active implantable cardiovascular devices that provide one or more therapies for bradycardia, tachycardia, and cardiac resynchronization in conjunction with transvenous lead systems.
As the CDC explains, it is important to get an accurate blood pressure reading so that you have a clearer picture of your risk for heart disease and stroke. The American National Standard, ANSI/AAMI BP22:1994 (R2016), Blood Pressure Transducers, provides performance and safety requirements for transducers, including cables, designed for blood pressure measurements through an indwelling catheter or direct puncture, and also provides disclosure requirements to permit the user to determine the compatibility between the transducer and blood pressure monitor. The standard is part of the Cardio Medical Device package.
The standard is a combined revision of two American National Standards (ANSI/AAMI BP22-1986 and ANSI/AAMI BP23-1986, developed by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer.
For those tracking their daily footsteps inside the house or when they’re out and about, the Consumer Technology Association’s Health and Fitness Technology Subcommittee developed the standard, CTA 2056-2016 (ANSI), Physical Activity Monitoring For Fitness Wearables: Step Counting, which creates definitions and performance criteria for measuring step counting on consumer wearable or app-based physical activity monitoring devices. CTA is an ANSI member and accredited standards developer.
These are just a few examples that support healthy hearts. ANSI remains committed to healthier lifestyles through continued efforts with standard developer organizations during this National Heart Month—and for years to come. Read more about American Heart Month 2021.