Future technologies &
Following is a roundup of perspectives from the ECG innovators featured in this magazine on what the future of cardiac telemonitoring holds.
Brandon Ballinger, Co-founder, Cardiogram
In 5-10 years, we believe wearables will be as prevalent as mobile phones and more than 80% of the population will have a wearable with a heart rate sensor in some form or another. In the future, heart rate sensors may not just be on your watch, but also on steering wheels on cars, office chairs, in earrings or pendants, or in our mattresses. This will generate enormous amounts of sensor data that will increase the need for AI systems to analyze and surface the most relevant insights.
Philip Siberg, President and Co-founder. Coala Life
The future of ECGs is patch-free, wire-free, and connected to the cloud. The skin is our largest organ protecting our bodies and should be treated gently. I want the future to use smart sensors, that diagnostics in general are non-invasive and that the empowerment of the patient is the key to perfected diagnostic yields.
A true AI system is a few years away from being on the market and approved for patient use because there is a complexity in how to real-time verify and validate AI algorithms in accordance with medical device regulations. New, smart software is needed to support this and help the industry faster release AI solutions to market. Right now, any medical solutions that have diagnostic yields lower than 90% have the ability to be transformed by AI.
Ziad Sankari, Founder & CEO, CardioDiagnostics
In 5-10 years ECGs will be used to infer anomalies beyond the heart, including some circulation and respiratory abnormalities. I can see promising trends in the use and application of Machine Learning to various pieces of data including images, ECGs, and blood work results. This has the potential to revolutionize the diagnostic space in oncology, cardiology and others as diagnostics data interpretation becomes more affordable and accessible to the public, which dramatically improves mortality and morbidity outcomes.
Mathieu Letombe, CEO, Withings
In 5-10 years, I expect that someone with a chronic condition can easily track their health and have their vital data shared with their care team in real-time. Their physicians could then treat them as issues occur rather than waiting for annual or regular doctor’s visits. Patients will still need specialists & regular practitioners, but the patient and specialist won’t need to be in the same space at the same time. This would enable the early diagnosis of health issues by constant monitoring before they become more serious.
Dr. Ruey-Kang Chang, Founder and CEO, QT Medical
To really democratize 12-lead ECG and make it available to millions of patients with heart disease, the following things will happen—the device software user interface has to be super easy to use, information provided has to be super easy to understand, and the overall price has to come down similar to the way it happened with the home glucometer or blood pressure machine. Yes, it is important to balance the safety and regulatory requirements while making it simple and lowering the cost, but I am hoping that eventually it will be made so easy to use and easy to understand that home 12-lead ECG will be an over-the-counter device you can just pick up from retail pharmacies. (QT Medical)
Alex Vinogradov, Co-founder & CEO, HeartIn
Stuart Long, CEO, InfoBionic
Next generation ECG must be something which people love to use – not hold in their fingers for long lime, not clip to the skin, but something that is invisible for users and has a high level of comfort.
The actual ECG’s will not look any different, yet how the data is collected, communicated, assessed and transmitted will and our current model is the standard to follow. Think floppy disks and fax machines vs. DropBox.
Peter Van Haur, CEO, Vital Connect
Branislav Vajdić, PhD CEO and Founder of HeartBeam
Remote monitoring will become a standard of care because it will provide care in the comfort of one’s own home, improve patient outcomes, reduce unnecessary readmissions, and increase efficiencies in the healthcare system.
AI will have the biggest impact. In the end it will be all about how rich of a data set do you have to apply deep learning and AI on them. I expect the biggest achievements to be in the predictive and preventive areas where AI has superior potential compared with individual patient assessment by a single physician.
I think we will be experimenting with very different things – implants for sure, but more than that, with growing organs and being able to augment organs with sensors and tech that can help improve their function. Think of an implantable defibrillator but far more sophisticated such that it is helping to fix the underlying issue as opposed to simply shocking you back into normal sinus. We are going to move into fixing the underlying issues as opposed to only treating the problem.
I am watching printed circuit technology, flexible circuits and implantable sensors. I think all of these will get us closer to continuous monitoring in a non-intrusive way. That is key in order to drive compliance.
Waqaas Al-Siddiq, CEO, Biotricity
Telemedicine will look completely different in the next 5-10 years than it does today because of advancements in AI. Telemedicine decreases the overall strain on the healthcare system by reducing travel times for doctors and patients, cutting down on wait times, opening access to rural areas, while delivering overall higher quality care because patients can be seen sooner, or triaged more effectively.
Jason Bellet, Co-founder & COO, Eko
New form factors will allow continuous monitoring with longer battery life, concurrent other biosign monitoring and the capacity to overcome movement artifact. Self-powered and implanted devices may be used even in the consumer medical market not only as for health purposes but perhaps for personal enhancement capabilities using biofeedback.
Etienne Grima, CEO, CardioComm Solutions, Inc