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#GoodNews: Tele-ECG Machines to Make Heart Scans More Accessible

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Cardiac health is a serious concern in recent times. A new portable Electrocardiography (ECG) device is being developed, which runs on mobile technology, with its main aim to bring change, especially in rural areas, as Better India has reported.

The Tele-ECG is a prototype spearheaded by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and is being adopted by firms for offering more accessible healthcare solutions in remote areas.

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The report is generated in form of an image that can be sent to the expert’s mobile through Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) or any other file sharing apps. The device is ideally suited for rural health care. In city hospitals, the machine can be operated through Laptop/Desktop and report can be shared on Local Area Network (LAN). ECG report in standard graphical format (as shown above) can be taken on a blank A4 size paper.
BARC

Tele-ECG was introduced over 30 years ago and is largely executed via telephone lines, as the name suggests. The limitation is that it can only be done over fixed locations with regular handsets.

With the increase in mobile technology, it’s trying to be harnessed to widen the scope of telemedicine and connect the rural communities with health experts.

ECG reports on paper face the risk of getting lost or fade over time.

Abhinav, founder of Cardea Labs, which is one of the licensees of this mobile technology, says,

Having an affordable 12 lead ECG system on the smartphone will not only boost the digital healthcare space, but this paper-less system will save a huge amount of time, helping the patient and the doctor immensely.

With a successful, low-cost prototype, BARC has begun issuing licenses to certain R&D organisations and automation companies for manufacturing and marketing of the product.

The prototypes are getting modified and readied for a commercial launch.

Cardea Labs will be launching a modified, upgraded version of the device under the name Accurate Tele-ECG On Mobile (ATOM).

ATOM is undergoing clinical studies at AIIMS, Delhi and will be ready to launch by the end of this year’s second trimester after getting necessary certifications and validation, as Abhinav said.

The device is a good prototype, but it isn’t ready for the market yet. As an R&D organisation, we are working on improving the system. We are making the device compatible for all smartphones. The device [developed by BARC] runs on Bluetooth 2.0, but we are converting it to Bluetooth 4.0. It will make a huge difference in battery life, especially for such a portable device, meant for use in rural areas.

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