This is a technology that I realised was going to be a breakthrough before I’d even seen it but it’s been interesting to see how acceptance has gone through several phases as the world is waking up to it’s potential (eg. “fake as *****!”, it’s only a single lead, I can’t see the value in that, seniors will never use smartphone apps, it saves a patients life after he suffered a heart attack on a commercial flight, only a year on and it’s centre stage during the opening keynote at the biggest event to ever take place in Las Vegas, it’s the key tech behind a leading US Medical School’s launch of a mHealth games franchise, a family GP nearly falls off her chair when a patient presents with a diagnosis, etc, etc). Watch this great TEDxOKC Talk where founder David Albert shares his insights into “Global Ideas in the Age of Social Virality”
Obviously we’re beyond these points now that the device is FDA and CE marked and can be bought online anywhere in the world for only $199 and Doctors are placing it in the palms of patients as they attend to the administrivia they are made to do on their PCs but I notice that it still gets jaw dropping reactions from medics when they see it for the first time.
Here’s a snap shot of a fun encounter I had on Wednesday evening after my talk:
“I’m a Doctor and I record ECG’s on patients, but what I really want to know is whose ECG is that and how do you put it on the iPhone?” (said while pointing to the live ECG trace that is being displayed and recorded by my smartphone)
“Sorry I think I must have confused you, it’s not a ECG that has been recorded. This is my ECG and you are seeing it in realtime and it is being gathered through these two connected electrodes that are discretely built into the case that the iPhone is sitting in, here hold it and you’ll see your own ECG”
“Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow!”
Hold onto your seats: As we approach the Mobile Moment I think it’s become clear that mHealth is reaching maturity and is going to radically transform every single healthcare industry process radically overhauling not just diagnostic potential but also (and probably more importantly) the basic service model.
If you are a mHealth startup (or you lead mHealth at a mobile operator) invest $199 in an Alivecor ECG today for every single member of your team and make sure they take it everywhere with them. The investors and prospective partners you are talking to probably don’t yet fully appreciate what’s happening as the newest mass media is increasingly leveraged to deliver new healthcare possibilities but a demo of how accurate biomonitoring is already becoming automatic and invisible to such a degree that even experienced Doctors think it looks like magic will be a massive help with convincing them that this is a disruptive opportunity that as we reach the Mobile Moment will overhaul healthcare regardless of any status quo or powerful invested interests.