February Innovation – CodeHeart

These days, innovations seem to come in the form of “apps.” A term that means any software made for any device. People have been using apps for years, but they weren’t called apps. Not until the mobile revolution have we been smattered with app this and app that.

As you may have guessed, the latest innovation we wanted to profile was another app. Not to throw it in with the rest, this app is different and could possibly revolutionize the administration of first response medical care.

CodeHeart

CodeHeart is the name and it may be on the tip of your doc’s tongue soon. CodeHeart is a wireless app that allows physicians to see ECG and other EMS instrument read-outs in real-time. The display is transmits live video over secure telephone channels.

CodeHeart

“CodeHeart was borne out of a desire to get ECG and other readings to physicians quickly,” says Dr. Satler, director of intervention cardiology, and one of the driving forces behind the app.

Prior to the created of CodeHeart, ECG readouts had to be faxed to specialists and the like. These days a fax isn’t quick enough. “The trouble is that this can take up to 10 minutes to send. Given that camera-equipped mobile phones are everywhere, it made sense to see if such information could be sent live by camera phone: Just hold it up, shoot the chart and then send it in for quicker diagnosis and response,” says Satler.

As simple as it sounds, the team working on CodeHeart ran into a few obstacles. At the inception, technology hadn’t caught up with the idea. Cellular data was expensive and phones were unable to send high resolution video in real-time. Fortunately, it was only a matter of time before phones had the specs and the platform to deliver the desired content.

Security was also an issue. Sending patients records wirelessly has raised concerns, and is not HIPAA compliant. (The HIPAA Act of 1996 lays out privacy standards for protecting patient medical information. Sending it by conventional cellular channels is not allowed.)

Fast-forward, and today you have an app that meets all the speed and privacy standards.

“Currently we are just starting to get CodeHeart into the field,” says Satler. “There’s still some reluctance by some EMS organizations to use it, simply because they are leery of how new it is. But I have no doubt that, in a few short years, CodeHeart apps will be in widespread use across North America, if not the world.”

Compared to other medical equipment, applying CodeHeart is simple, quick and most importantly, cheap. Currently there is no listed price, as the app is not yet in any app stores, but it will most likely go for the price of a coffee. Considering this app turns every phone into a portable telemedicine terminal, that’s a small price to pay.

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The possibilities are endless. With CodeHeart, every first responder will be able to link to experts all over the world, in real-time voice and video. 

January Innovation – The ECG of the Future

What is Electrocardiography (ECG), and why is it useful? ECG is the interpretation of the electrical activity of the heart over a period of time. It is used to measure the rate and regularity of heartbeats as well as the size and position of the chambers, the presence of any damage to the heart, and the effects of drugs or devices used to regulate the heart.

It sounds like having an ECG could be quite handy, right? Well yes, it would be, but who would want to spend thousands and have a large brick of a device lying around? Look at the size of that thing below, not me!

How about something you can trust to deliver accurate results and slip into your shirt pocket? Now we are talking.

ECG of the future

CardioComm’s new handheld HeartChecktm Pen does just that, it puts the benefits of an ECG in the palm of your hand. You may see hypochondriacs lining up for this device, but its use goes well beyond those who have health obsession on the mind.

The HeartCheck Pen would benefit any person interested in monitoring their health due to heart disease.  It could also be used to determine potential heart disease by assessing abnormal heart rhythms and muscle defects. From athletes to seniors, a wide range of consumers could benefit from this device.

“We feel the HeartCheck Pen is a true remote monitoring device because it is compact, easy to use, and takes accurate heart readings in only 30 seconds. The Pen may be used from anywhere, including at home, the office, the gym or in remote areas which are often inaccessible to common ECG machines,” said Etienne Grima, CardioComm Solutions’ CEO.

The device makes sending and storing ECGs easy. Up to 20 ECGs can be stored on the device, and once you hit that mark you can download the ECGs to your computer and print them off, or save some trees and send them electronically to your doc or clinic. The data can also be downloaded to GEMS™ Home, where repeated recordings can be managed in a personal health data record.

“What makes this product unique,” explained Grima, “is that after a consumer sends a selected heart rate recording to the C4 medical call-center over the internet using GEMS™ Home, the actual ECG recording will be reviewed and interpreted by an attending C4 physician. The ECG report will then be made available to the customer, again through GEM Home, where they may retrieve the ECG interpretation and use it in communicating with their own health care providers.”

The HeartCheck Pen definitely has some interesting advantages over its big brother, but is it something you would use? Take our poll below and tell us your thoughts.

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For more information on this device, please visit CardioComm