What Can Happen to the Human Heart After Months of Swimming? | The Swim

What Can Happen to the Human Heart After Months of Swimming? | The Swim

Using ultrasound and a prototype waterproof monitor, medics and researchers are watching Ben Lecomte’s heart closely. Can the way we examine his EKG waves in ocean waves help us prevent fatal heart disease?

*Note: at 3:30 when the video depicts the ECG signal, the intervals would not be measured diagonally as depicted conceptually, but with straight lines. Learn more at

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How Advances in Wearable Cardiac Monitors Improve the Patient and Clinician Experience

“The newest devices are small, lightweight, water-resistant, disposable, and can be worn for up to seven days. This extended time period allows for efficient diagnosis of a variety of irregular heart rhythms, including the most common form — atrial fibrillation (AF).”

Artificial intelligence could help diagnose a deadly heart condition

“AliveCor built a deep neural network using EKG results from more than 1,000 patients with congenital LQTS and more than 1,000 patients without it. The system identified relevant features and continued to learn from the data. It detected the condition in people where the length of electrical waves measured in an EKG were indistinguishable from normal ones — picking up on signals doctors hadn’t seen. This could help diagnose people earlier and prevent sudden deaths, Ackerman said.”

Can cold water swimming treat depression?

“This is called “cross-adaptation”, where one form of stress adapts the body for another. There is increasing evidence linking depression and anxiety with the inflammation that accompanies a chronic stress response to the physical and psychological problems of modern life. Through cross-adaptation, cold water swimming may be able to reduce this chronic stress response together with the inflammation and mental health problems that affect so many of us.”


Ben Lecomte’s historic swim across the Pacific Ocean is a feat that can’t be missed. Join us as we dive into the most extensive data set of the Pacific Ocean ever collected. Learn about the technology the Seeker crew is using to deter sharks away from Ben and measure the impact of the long-distance swim on his mind and body. Ben’s core mission is to raise awareness for ocean health issues, so we’ll investigate key topics such as pollution and plastics as he swims closer to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, discover potential consequences from climate change, and examine how factors like ocean currents can impact his progress along the way.

Seeker explains every aspect of our world through a lens of science, inspiring a new generation of curious minds who want to know how today’s discoveries in science, math, engineering and technology are impacting our lives, and shaping our future. Our stories parse meaning from the noise in a world of rapidly changing information.

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