ECG Receives Attention from Apps Developers

A series of current iPhone apps and those in development, offer a set of sophisticated diagnostic tools for cardiology. Here is a sampling of ECG apps.

Alivecor has developed a ECG device that turns an iPhone into a ECG machine. A case with a sensor clips onto the iPhone and shows & records a ECG strip. One either places the index fingers on the sensors or places it on the chest to get an ECG strip.

The strip can be transmitted wirelessly during acquisition, saved, and emailed for review by a cardiologist. A patient with intermittent events can use this to record one and send it out for review. Watch a video here.

A cardiologist can use this in the office to get an instant look at a patient’s condition.
Today’s alternative is to order a ECG test from a lab in the hospital or clinic which may take several hours to schedule, perform the test and send the results back to the physician for review.

AliverCor is currently in the FDA clearance process for this device and expects to market the device for less than $100.

The Embedded Systems and Telecommunications Circuits Lab at EPFL has developed a ECG monitoring device for long term monitoring up to 150 continuous hours for to identify heart rate anomalies. The monitor consists of 4 electrode senors attached to the skin which are linked to a radio module and processor that clips onto the patient’s belt.

Data is fed to the user’s smart phone where it can be transmitted, viewed in realtime and stored. Algorithms identify any abnormalities and send the associated data via an email picture attachment to the patient’s physician. A demonstration is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIv14jZ83E0

AirStrip Technologies is marketing an FDA-cleared platform that allows mobile device access to 12 and 15 lead ECG data. Full 10 second data is presented on the mobile device with access to previous ECG’s from the ECG management system.

Physicians can scroll through the data to choose the beats for analysis. Calipers are provided as is dynamic ECG layout functionality.

Classically, ECG’s are either faxed or sent as a pdf file for remote viewing which presents a static view of a few beats. The dynamic access to all the data provided by AirStrip Cardiology app with touch zoom and scroll represents a quantum improvement. This app has been named the best US medical application for the iPhone as part of Ap Store Rewind 2011. It is in use at the Texas Health hospitals amongst others. A video demonstration is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mn8AFw27JSU