Posted on August 1, 2016 by staff

This 30-second smartphone ECG reading could save your life


BusinessCloud is counting down the technology which could save your life.

Heart disease is one of the biggest killers in the UK and is the focus of a lot of tech research.

San Francisco-based AliveCor was founded in 2011 and has created a system called Kardia which allows a smartphone or smartwatch to be used as an electrocardiogram (ECG) reader through the use of an app and a phone attachment.

Compatible with most Apple and Android devices, it takes an ECG reading in 30 seconds which can then be sent to a doctor for analysis and diagnosis.

The business says its focus is to empower consumers to better understand and manage their heart health and encourage people to take an active role in their own healthcare through the use of technology previously only available for specialists.

One of its latest innovations is the Kardia Band for Apple Watch, which not only allows consumers to monitor their ECG but also record voice memos to accompany each reading describing symptoms or external factors such as caffeine intake.

Although US-based, AliveCor is also operating in the UK. Last year, it secured a place on the NHS Innovation Accelerator programme which supports developers to roll out tried and tested innovations across the UK’s health service.

It could potentially support significant cost savings for the NHS as, along with monitoring ECG readings, it can also help detect incidents of atrial fibrillation, which is responsible for a third of all strokes and costs the NHS more than £2.2bn annually.

There are many other firms changing the face of healthcare with technology.

One key area is ensuring that patients are taking the medicines they’re prescribed – which is where eLucid mHealth comes in.

Skin Analytics is a tool which aims to improve the survival rate for melanoma skin cancer by providing users with a low-cost way to identify moles which could be cancerous.

Florence is a telecom-based tech is looking to reduce hospital admissions and keep people in their homes for longer.

Dublin-based start-up Beats Medical helps to improve the lives of those with Parkinson’s disease.

And Eva Diagnostics is a company whose aim is to revolutionise blood tests so they can be analysed without a hospital laboratory – potentially improving the lives of people undergoing chemotherapy.