What if your friendly local police officer could tase you for being an idiot and detect a cardiac arrhythmia at the same time? This is now a possibility thanks to a prototype system from researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center that combines a TASER electric stun gun with ECG biomonitoring.
The cardiac monitor records the electric heart signals through the same electrodes that pierce the skin and deliver the electric shock. According to the researchers, this required little modification of the TASER, and in field tests conducted on a few very bold volunteers the researchers were able to confirm that the system works.
The study, published in journal Forensic and Legal Medicine, notes that so-called “conducted electrical weapons” have been shown to be pretty safe, but there’s still considerable concern that some people’s hearts react poorly to these thumping devices. Perhaps soon we’ll see TASERs and other such weapons with integrated ECG monitoring being introduced, allowing a police officer to recognize a problem and take life saving action even if the perp really is an idiot.
Study in journal Forensic and Legal Medicine: A TASER conducted electrical weapon with cardiac biomonitoring capability: Proof of concept and initial human trial…