This article vividly demonstrates how consumer products are changing the nature of both personal and professional medical and diagnostic instruments. The AliveCor iPhone ECG has already been used to diagnose several cardiac conditions and it isn’t even on the market yet—although FDA and CE Mark approvals of the device are pending.
“It is a device that sort of expands your imagination,” says Leslie Saxon, MD, who designed and oversaw the study. “I never leave home without my iPhone. And as a cardiologist and a heart rhythm doctor, I can obviously use the iPhone ECG on myself, I can use it in the clinic on my patients or in the hospital, and I can even use it at home to get my golden retriever’s ECG.”
Saxon, who is a professor of clinical medicine at the University of Southern California (USC) Keck School of Medicine, recruited 54 patients from the iPhone-owning demographic in attendance at the annual Body Computing Conference at USC. Participants in the study were not given instructions on how to use the device. People from various background were enrolled: engineers, entertainment, media, bloggers, as well as doctors.
In the study, the participants were provided with a case and an app to use with their iPhone. Without receiving instructions on how to use the product, the participants were told to go and to record their ECG at least once per day.
Over the course of eight weeks, about 1500 ECGs were recorded and transmitted—about 90% of which were clinically useful, says David Albert, MD, inventor of the device and chief medical officer of AliveCor. The participants used the device consistently throughout the duration of the study. Saxon and Albert read the ECGs generated from the study.
The article "iPhone-based ECG is saving lives, even ahead of regulatory OK" appeared at our sibling publication MD+DI; for more on the iPhone ECG, you can check out the “Ahead of His Time” series:
•Ahead of His Time (Part I)
•Ahead of His Time (Part II)
•Ahead of His Time (Part III)
About the author
Brian Buntz is the editor-at-large at UBM Canon's medical group.
Editor's note: Liked this? Want more?
If you are interested in "medical-design" issues including transducers and interfaces; processors; software; and system design, then go to the Medical Designline home page for the latest in design, technology, trends, products, and news. Also, sign up for our weekly Medical Designline Newsletter.