AliveCor Now Offering Remote ECG Interpretations For Patients and Doctors Alike

11-18-2013 10-40-31 PM

San Francisco-based AliveCor announces a new ECG interpretation service that it will begin offering to patients that are using the company’s smartphone-powered ECG recorder. The fee-for-service offering, called AliveInsights, provides clinical interpretations of the ECG waveform, done by either a cardiac technician or, for a higher fee, a US board certified cardiologist. The service is completely integrated into the AliveECG app so that patients can take their ECG reading and immediately send it out for an expert opinion.

The service will be available 24/7 and promises a 24-hour turnaround or possibly a 30-minute turnaround if the users opts for a cardiac technician’s interpretation, rather than a cardiologist’s, and is willing to pay a higher fee.

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The interpretations themselves are basic, offering little more than the clinician’s finding and, if a cardiologist does the review, some recommendations on whether follow up with a physician is recommended. Definitions for clinical terminology are also provided. The results of a cardiac technician’s review, shown above, only come with findings and definitions, and do not include recommendations. This kind of information would do very little in the way of educating the user on what was happening to them physically to cause their symptoms, or what they should do next. It’s also not at all clear from the results whether the patient needs to seek medical attention. Fortunately, interpretations can be electronically shared with the patient’s PCP or cardiologist through AliveCor’s secure website.

“This eHealth service makes it easier for physicians to manage the heart condition of their patients, wherever they and their patients are. Just as the introduction of thermometers and blood pressure cuffs in the past helped patients to monitor their health, now the ability to record one’s own electrocardiogram – and get an interpretation almost instantly empowers the 21st Century patient to take charge of their heart health.” – Ronald P. Karlsberg, M.D., Cedars Sinai Heart Institute.

Interestingly, the services are being marketed to not just patients, but also physicians. Marketing the service as an on-demand cardiology consult, the company is looking to help expedite ECG readings for physicians looking for faster results.

AliveCor’s flagship product is a prescription-based ECG sensor built to attach to both iPhone and Android devices and wirelessly capture ECG readings. For now, it has the smartphone-enabled ECG recorder market cornered, as it’s the only game in town with options for iOS and Android. However, with innovation being spurred by a steady rise in mobile health users and the Qualcomm Tricorder X prize challenge, strong competition is not far down the road for AliveCor. As startups like Scanadu inch closer to launching their own products, some that are capable of capturing not only an ECG, but also vitals and a number of other metrics, competition will undoubtedly pick up and consumers should see even more innovative approaches to home diagnostics tools.

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