At TC Disrupt we learned SHL Telemedicine is coming to market with a new medical gadget called Smartheart. The device is a lightweight personal electrocardiogram (or ECG) that allows you to monitor your heart in realtime. The Smartheart gadget comes with a free app, available on iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry, that connects to the ECG wirelessly. With the Smartheart device on and running, the app will record your results and email them to your physician. The app can monitor degradations in the health of your heart, as well as identify an irregular or abnormal heart condition and send an alert to the user in realtime.
A device like this is both a blessing and a concern. Clinics and wait rooms can benefit from having less patients flow in for regular heart checks while doctors monitor the patients health from the comfort of their office. On the other hand, the heart is a very crucial organ and leaving its analysis to someone without any medical knowledge, or an app that may not accommodate for peculiar readings, could easily prove fatal for someone.
It’s going to become increasingly important to look to these sorts of technologies to help alleviate the costs of healthcare. Especially in Canada, with free healthcare and an aging Baby Boomer population, technology will play a crucial role in alleviating costs and creating efficiencies.