Feature | ECG | May 03, 2019 | Sanket Solanki

ECG Industry Blooms With Innovative Devices and New Methods

One innovation in ECG is its use in the customer wearable market, which will tie more closely into the clinical world either with using the data to triage patients and/or patients seeking medical attention prior to acute symptoms appearing.

One innovation in ECG is its use in the customer wearable market, which will tie more closely into the clinical world either with using the data to triage patients and/or patients seeking medical attention prior to acute symptoms appearing.

Technology has made its way into the healthcare sector and brought a drastic transformation. Detection of heart conditions that was not possible before has become possible. With surge in heart conditions across the world, it is essential to detect them as soon as possible. Innovative methods and devices have been developed for prolonging and saving lives of people through detection of heart conditions. 

Electrocardiograph (ECG) readings taken through devices for detection of atrial fibrillation would offer ease in use to users and would prove to be a crucial factor in saving lives. The ECG industry is booming with innovative products and research and development activities. According to the research firm Allied Market Research, the global electrocardiograph (ECG) market would reach $6.63 billion by 2023. Innovation has brought a new age in the market.  


Apple Watch ECG Monitoring

Apple Watch in synchronization with an ECG app has been able to detect an undiagnosed heart condition. The ECG feature is now included in the Apple Watch. It is intended to determine the heart conditions that do not show obvious symptoms. The device in sync with an app was able to help a man in Germany detect a serious heart condition. There was an ECG function for hypochondriacs and the user tried this feature when released for watchOS 5.2. 

The tech giant released an update that enables ECG hardware on Series 4 units. The user outlined that there were multiple readings showing the signs of atrial fibrillation (AFib), which went undetected by physicians. The user was not able to determine whether the device was offering an accurate reading. So, he showed it to his physician. After checking the readings, physician stated that the watch was right. Then, beta blocker prescriptions were provided for AFib diagnosis. The man admitted that the Apple Watch helped in prolonging his life. 

Apple Watch customers have been singing praises loudly for the device after they have been informed about AFib readings through an ECG app. The device also helped in saving a life of a man in Seattle, who was not aware of his heart condition.  


New, Innovative Methods to Record ECGs

An innovative ECG method that involves using signals from ears to check rhythm of the heart has been developed by researchers. This method would help drivers, military personnel, and athletes to track their own heart conditions. Researchers outlined that mobile ECG devices offer a lot of opportunities for detection of atrial fibrillation, which is the most common heart condition. These devices help in prevention of strokes and lower hospitalizations. This is the first research in which an ear has been used for detection of ECG signal, outlined researchers present at the annual congress of European Heart Rhythm Association 2019 in Lisbon. 

The study had 32 volunteers participate. An ECG was carried out using a standard method, in which middle finger and index finger of each hand were used. Then a second ECG was carried out with the help of middle and index finger of left hand and a clip to left ear. Two cardiologists, who were not informed about which method represents the results, analyzed the results obtained by both methods. The researchers outlined that there were no differences in the ECG results gained from both methods. 

Raffaele De Lucia, from the University Hospital of Pisa, Italy, said that they were able to show how ear can become a crucial factor for detection of ECG signals in healthy adults. The researchers have been utilizing the method in patients suffering from cardiac arrhythmias. Furthermore, researchers outlined that these findings will lead to development of new ECG wearable device that lets one hand free and makes it easy for users to use.

Editor’s note: Sanket Solanki is the senior digital marketing executive at Allied Market Research, a healthcare market research and advisory company that provides business insights and market research reports to large as well as small and medium enterprises.

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