FRAMINGHAM, MA – Boasting that it will be easier than ever to estimate the 10- and 30-year cardiovascular risk of an individual, principle investigators at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) & Boston University (BU) have released a brand-new Framingham Risk Score Abacus.
“The prior Framingham Risk Score calculators depended on the accurate input of quite a bit of data – sex, age, systolic blood pressure, antihypertensive medication use, tobacco use, diabetes, total cholesterol, HDL – and many health care professionals were intimidated by that,” explained Dr. Eric Casio, one of the Framingham Heart Study principal investigators. “These new abaci will make everyone’s lives a whole lot easier. Online calculators will be a thing of the past.”
An abacus is a calculating tool that uses beads or stones sliding on wires, all contained within a frame. The abacus was commonly used in China, Europe, and Russia in the centuries before the development of modern numeric systems. Though they are not used by modern-day health care professionals, the abacus is still widely-considered to be easier to use than electronic medical records (EHR).
Casio demonstrates the Framingham Risk Score Abacus for me.
“All you have to do is slide a few beads, like this and that, and – BAM! – your 10-year risk for cardiovascular disease is 7.51%,” Casio explained. I was in awe. Plus the abacus kind of sounded like maracas, something you definitely cannot say about online calculators. “This Framingham Risk Score Abacus is a simple thing of beauty. I even do my own taxes on this. Goodbye, smartphone. Hello, abacus!”
NHLBI and BU investigators believe that if the Framingham Risk Score Abaci are well-received, we might soon see a future health care system completely devoid of EHRs and replaced instead by more user-friendly electronic health abaci.
The future can’t come soon enough.