Monday, October 9, 2017

ECG monitoring using mobile device - when engineering met medicine

Innovativeness and creativity has always been a part of science. In this ever developing world, Science has made our lives easier. With every passing day a new development strikes the market and leaves it's imprint behind.

Mobile Technology has affected every aspect of the human life all over the world. Not only has mobile technology made connectivity easier, it has also positively impacted Healthcare services. In this regard and new development that caught my attention in recent times was the use of a smart phone to monitor ECG.

I came across such device on a Facebook Post. The interface uses ECG leads connected on the chest wall of the patient and transmitting data via cable directly to the mobile device. Once connected, an app installed in the mobile can recognize the electrical activity and display the graph. it can be used for continuous monitoring and also a graph can be printed. The best part of the system is that it can be used by Healthcare providers in Periphery (like in Sub Center or PHC) and the information can be transmitted to a higher setup.
In this manner even a health worker who has been trained to connect the leads on the patient's chest and run the app on mobile can take out an ECG from a patient who complains of cardiac or similar symptoms within moments. The data thus obtained can be analysed by doctor positioned more centrally and the health worker may be guided to take the best course of action which he may be unable to take himself otherwise.

For example, a patient visiting a sub Center located in a remote village complains of sudden onset chest pain. ECG taken out by the health worker may be immediately sent to the higher center to the consultant whereby a diagnosis of Acute Myocardial Infarction is suspected. Accordingly the health worker can be guided to provide the immediate care(like Morphine, Oxygen, Nitrate, Aspirin) and shift the patient as early as possible to a better equipped center for further management thus improving the chances of survival of the patient and bringing down the cost of therapy as well. This system may also help in avoiding unnecessary referrals.