HeartBeam is a patient-centered health company that strives to alleviate impact of heart disease and protect cardiac patients by combining a novel ECG approach and artificial intelligence (AI) .
Heart Diagnosis Anywhere, Anytime
By Mary Alison
HeartBeam has embarked on solving a problem that is tremendously important—heart attack. It’s innovative, revolutionary product. .
"I wanted to build a 12 lead ECG that fits in your wallet," says Branislav Vajdić, PhD CEO and Founder of HeartBeam. A chip-designer from Intel, who had no baggage of the medical field, Branislav saw an opportunity that could have an impact on people’s life.
He saw heart as a source of electromagnetic waves. In essence an antenna! "If we can measure x,y and z components of the signal that this antenna called heart transmits we will have all the information somebody can collect about heart’s electrical activity," he says passionately. He joined with two other physicists and came up with way to detect a heart attack by treating the heart as an antenna!
Branislav had seen the market was crowded with too many players who offered two electrode or single lead based ECG offerings. He was convinced that single lead ECG technologies are by no means sufficient , especially in ischemic events. "The only significant arrhythmia single lead ECG technologies have tackled so far is atrial fibrillation (Afib). What is needed is a technology that will be able to provide disease detection capabilities that are at least as good as the standard 12 lead ECG, but with the patient/user 24/7," says Branislav. It is this space, which is far less populated, that excites him.
Branislav chose to pursue engineering, despite family pressures. “My father, a famous European surgeon, very much expected that his only child should consider a career as a medical doctor,” reminiscences Branislav. “However, I followed my dream, obtained my doctorate in Electrical Engineering.” He spent over two decades in Intel and was the co-inventor of Flash memory, an enriching experience which helped in build HeartBeam. Regrettably for Branislav, who had seen his career's zenith, lost his father because of heart attack; event that left him feeling helpless and wanting to do something about the disease. “My father’s passing from a heart attack affected me to the extent that many years later I turned my efforts to creating a technology that might have saved my father’s life. In cardiology I found the second professional passion of my life,” narrates Branislav. What was born as an outcome is HeartBeam, Inc. and the iCardiologist product.
Founded in 2015, Santa Clara, CA-based HeartBeam is a patient-centered and technology-oriented health company that strives to alleviate heart disease and protect cardiac patients by combining artificial intelligence and human intelligence. The heart attack which is the initial focus of the company is responsible for more occurrences of death than any other ailment or cause in the world. The staggering death rate associated with heart attacks is due to a number of factors which include: procrastination on the part of patients experiencing symptoms, lack of immediate medical aid, , inaccuracy of available ECG devices, and impossibility of having a cardiologist with patients everywhere and every time.
HeartBeam’s innovative iCardiologist fills this gap. It is a cloud-based mHealth product that proffers ultimate solution to the aforementioned and all other problems culminating in heart attacks and strokes. The smart software expert system designed by HeartBeam doubles its capabilities to track and detect cardiovascular disease symptoms with mobility. Not only that, it gives patients instant simple and applicable survival tips upon confirmation of a heart disease, making self-triage super effective and professional. iCardiologist does more than mere ECG recording and interpretation; it also integrates available information and all factors that cardiologists consider when they examine cardiac patients.
iCardiologist is a portable 12-lead ECG equivalent device which patients can take around 24/7. Over the last five years of its existence, HeartBeam has been committed to harnessing technology to the benefit of cardiac patients and every individual who is interested in monitoring their heart's health. Little wonder its latest technology, iCardiologist, made it to the final in the 2019 Cleveland Clinic Innovation Summit. iCardiologist is a better alternative to existing 12-lead ECG devices, both home-based and wearable—it offers mobility to patients, and relieves patients of the stress and stigma of carrying around lead cables and electrodes which are attached to the body for those technologies to function.
Apart from these, iCardiologist takes into cognizance electrocardiogram ECG signals, symptoms and patients' risk factors, and gives a timely professional advice to patients experiencing a chest pain. Thus, with iCardiologist, cardiac patients and non-patients have with them a wireless mobile 12-lead ECG technology that monitors the human heart with an inbuilt virtual cardiologist 24/7. With iCardiologist, huge progress in the fight with heart attacks is imminent. Once Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clears and approves the use of iCardiologist, the pocket-sized device and associated intelligent diagnostic software system will lower mortality due to heart attacks, and decrease number of unnecessary visits to emergency rooms and cardiologists.
Invaluable Technology without Technicalities
iCardiologist is built on three main and core functions. Firstly, it automatically performs ECG assessment, using its inbuilt proprietary 3D signal-based personalized heart attack marker. This function enables iCardiologist to detect early symptoms of heart attacks, after which it gives a highly valuable advice for patients instantly. Secondly, it examines chest pain symptoms in order to ascertain whether they signal an imminent heart attack or otherwise. This function provides health security in many forms. Apart from eliminating guessing and wrong predictions which can adversely impact patients' health, the function also increases cardiac patients' quality of living by removing the fear and worry of uncertainty for patients. The last function which is the assessment of heart attack risk factors specific for that patient. . By extension, iCardiologist reduces the rate at which non-patients worry and visit doctors which, in turn, reduces the cost of health insurance. It enhances and prolongs life!
Patients and those individuals that just want to track their cardiac health need neither training nor expertise to use iCardiologist because HeartBeam designed it to be user-friendly. Both in its form and function, iCardiologist is simple. It is straightforward and easy to use. Unlike other 12-lead ECG technologies, iCardiologist does not have external electrodes. It easily fits into a wallet, hence patients have it with them for heart diagnosis anywhere and anytime. What makes iCardiologist unique is that it is the first of its kind in personalized health care; a heart attack detector that fits in a wallet.
iCardiologist is 20 percent more accurate than a trained cardiologist in interpreting ECG. When in addition to ECG, symptoms and risk factors are taken into account the accuracy of iCardiologist is equal to that of a panel of three world-class cardiologists
HeartBeam designed iCardiologist not to compete with or displace trained and professional cardiologists, but to complement their efforts. Since it is impossible for trained cardiologists to be everywhere, every time, iCardiologist assumes their role in settings when they are not available. This way, iCardiologist simplifies trained cardiologists' task by providing a triage for patients in need. And the earlier patients who suffer a heart attack gets to a doctor, the better they respond to treatment. In addition, iCardiologist accurately records and interprets ECG signal which trained cardiologists use to treat cardiac patients when they are next to them. It does this by helping cardiologists visually to locate a heart attack signal on a 3D model of the heart with exactitude and precision.
iCardiologist has received a wide range of very positive comments from individuals, groups of people and companies. At the 2019 Cleveland Clinic Innovation Summit, HeartBeam's team pitched the idea of iCardiologist, and a number of investors and potential strategic partners sought collaboration and partnership afterwards. Leading cardiovascular centers such as Harvard and Stanford, including many other medical communities have also given encouraging feedback on the innovative technological product. HeartBeam's next task is to get FDA clearance to commercialize iCardiologist.
HeartBeam has embarked on solving a problem that is tremendously important—heart attack. iCardiologist is a perfect fit, especially for a market that is quickly realizing that proactive and preventive care combined with patient applied monitoring and diagnostic solutions outside of clinical care setting is the way to go.
The passionate entrepreneur that he is, Branislav says, “We felt and we still feel like pioneers in this field. Being a pioneer means that no path has been traced and resistance to novelty and change is high. Nowhere else that is true more than in the medical field. Early movers in this space is synonymous with heavy lifting. We are making great progress along this road and every day brings another brick to our wall of success.”
One can find in Branislav the very traits that predict an entrepreneur’s likelihood of achieving success. He is a man with a mission, who thrives on a strong sense of personal self-efficacy to execute his vision and has a keen eye for innovation to identify new products and markets.
Complement not Competitor
The Next Task
Over the last five (5) years of its existence, HeartBeam has been committed to harnessing technology to the benefit of cardiac patients and every individual who is interested in monitoring their heart's health.
With iCardiologist, the final burial of heart attacks is imminent. Once Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clears and approves the use of iCardiologist, the pocket-sized device will wipe out the incessant outbreak of preventable crises of heart attacks, including unnecessary visits to cardiologists.
Patients and non-patients need neither training nor expertise to use iCardiologist because HeartBeam designed it to be user-friendly. Both in its form and function, iCardiologist is simple. It is straightforward and easy to use.
What drives him?
There is clearly a dominant motivation factor that drives me: the impact on people’s life. I feel that my work on Flash memory has changed the way we live: mobile phones and digital photography, to name just two would not be possible without Flash. I feel very fortunate that I was in the middle of that technical revolution. HeartBeam will have a huge impact on the lives of cardiovascular patients. My goal is clear: prolong lives and increase the quality of lives of high risk cardiovascular patients.