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Using Artificial Intelligence to prevent strokes

Posted on 20th July 2017 at 10:12am

Our R&D bloggers look at an affordable, portable device that has been developed to allow users to record an electrocardiagram via their cellphone.

Image courtesy AliveCor

Earlier this year, Silicon Valley-based start-up company AliveCor announced the US release of Kardia Pro, the first AI platform for doctors to monitor patients for the early detection of atrial fibrillation (afib).

Afib is an irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure, and other heart-related complications. It is estimated that afib increases a person’s risk of stroke by four to five times. The US CDC estimates that between 2.7 and six million Americans have Afib.

FDA-approved Kardia Mobile is a portable electrocardiogram cell phone attachment. The user simply places two or more fingers on the Kardia Mobile electrodes to record an accurate electrocardiogram and instantly determine the presence of afib in the free Kardia App.

Cardiac electrophysiologist Dr Theodore Takata says that Kardia accelerates: “The time to diagnosis and (avoids) unnecessary healthcare utilisation.”

Kadria Mobile is extremely affordable at $99 for the portable ECG, and an optional $9.99 monthly subscription for the premium Kardia app. Premium features include unlimited storage for all heart health data. The app uses AI to track blood pressure, weight, activity, and create a personal heart profile for each user. Physicians can then monitor patients through any web browser or the Kardia Pro app and offer suggestions to help minimise afib risk factors. Currently Kardia is available in six languages throughout 24 countries worldwide.

According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases are the top cause of death globally. As of 2013, all WHO member states have agreed on global mechanisms to reduce non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, through a global shift from acute intervention to preventative care. Increased access to medical grade health monitors allows every person to take initiative in their own healthcare. No longer will patients have to schedule an appointment for ECG diagnostics.

Company leader Vic Gundotra compares the impact of Kardia Mobile to the invention of the six-inch medical thermometer.

AliveCor has also announced $30 million in new funding to: “Accelerate innovations in heart health and continue the rapid expansion of the business”. AliveCor is currently pending FDA 510K clearance for the Kardia Band, the first medical grade EKG band for Apple Watch.

Fiona Hart, Carly Esteves & Ian Portelli 

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