Cardiotrack will capture clinical grade ECG data using cutting-edge technology and ensure data portability through smart devices
Cardiotrack, the pioneer in AI-based diagnostic solutions for cardiac care, has teamed up with Columbia Asia Hospitals in Bangalore to help address the urgent need for timely diagnosis and treatment of cardiac ailments.
As part of this association, Columbia Asia Hospitals will be using Cardiotrack’s hand-held device powered by AI to create an ecosystem that can provide preventive cardiac care to people who may not even be aware that they have heart health problems.
Cardiotrack will capture clinical grade ECG data using cutting-edge technology and ensure data portability through smart devices. That way, there’s no time lapse between diagnosis and treatment – a life-saver in most cases.
Earlier this month, Cardiotrack was successfully used by Columbia Asia Hospital – Whitefield at its recently held heart health camp where close to 100 patients were screened. The results were worrisome and proved that cardiac health in India can be more effective if there is preventive care. In fact, Columbia Asia Hospitals in Hebbal, Yeshwantpur and Mysore have also deployed these devices which will aid patients and doctors in the treatment of cardiac related issues.
Speaking about the company’s association with Columbia Asia Hospitals, Ashim Roy, CEO, Cardiotrack, said, “ By joining hands with Columbia Asia, we hope to make Cardiotrack’s portable and digitised diagnostic solution accessible to a large number of people.”
Reiterating the significance of the association, Pratyush Srivastava, General Manager – Columbia Asia Hospital – Whitefield said, “We at Columbia Asia pride ourselves in providing timely care to our patients. This portable device will definitely help increase the number of corporate and outstation camps we conduct, in turn helping us diagnose cardiac risk at an early stage and provide timely solution.
Monterrey, an industrial city in northeastern Mexico, is home to more than 4.5 million people. Founded by Diego de Montemayor in 1596, the city sits at the foothills of the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range.
Monterrey is the biggest city in the state of Nuevo Leon bordering Texas to the north. The city is well supported by excellent roads and a good public transport system. The Santa Catarina river flows through Monterrey and though usually dry on the surface, it has flowing underground water.
Locals feel that Monterrey is a blessed city since one of the hilltops resembles a bishop’s headgear giving rise to the nickname Cerro de las Mitras (bishop’s hat). The locals may well be right because Monterrey has the highest GDP in Mexico.
Proteccion Civil Rescue 911 service provides emergency and ambulatory services to the inhabitants of this city. Its bright red color vans are dispatched to the scene as soon as an accident or incident is reported. Until a couple of months ago, the paramedics did not have any means of checking the cardiovascular health of a patient at the accident scene. Fernando Vásquez is a paramedic with Proteccion Civil Rescue 911’s unit # R07 that serves the San Pedro neighborhood. He has recently been trained to use Cardiotrack, a handheld ECG monitor that allows him to transfer the patient data instantaneously to the hospital that is nearest to scene of accident. Fernando was so excited to have the Cardiotrack unit that he purchased a sturdy plastic toolbox to carry this prized possession. Since the rescue service was cash strapped, he decided to use his money.
Thanks to Cardiotrack paramedics can now capture a patient’s ECG in their mobile units, have more information about the vital signs of the patient at the scene of the accident and initiate immediate medical intervention protocol by sharing the ECG with an emergency unit and/or hospital before the patient arrives at the hospital.
I had the opportunity to meet Fernando just for a few minutes before the dispatcher received a call from an old lady whose cat was stranded on the rooftop. As Fernando was climbing his Emergency 911 van to rescue the cat, I told him he wouldn’t need Cardiotrack for this trip. Fernando smiled back and said, “Never leave home without it!”.
Cardiotrack is a product of uber Diagnostics headquartered in Singapore.
Dr. Vinod Agarwal runs a public healthcare clinic (PHC) in Meerut district, a semi-urban community, which is located 45 miles north-east of New Delhi. It is spread across 1,000 square miles and has a population of 3.5 million people of which 2.2 million (63%) live in semi-urban/ rural communities around Meerut city. There are 14 PHCs in Meerut district similar to the one administered by Dr. Agarwal and these serve the communities around Meerut. Dr. Agarwal’s tools of trade are a thermometer, a stethoscope and a blood pressure monitor. He has used these instruments for the past 35 years, ever since he graduated from the med school. By various accounts, India has 765 thousand general physicians (GP) or population-to-GP ratio of 1,700, however, this ratio varies significantly across the urban and rural areas. In metropolitan areas, the ratio is closer to 400 and in some of the rural areas the ratio exceeds 10,000. However, one thing remains common throughout the country – the same tools of trades may be found with all the 765 thousand GPs.
In 2005, I met with Futurist Dr. Jay Hellman in Bethesda, MD. He described to me the concept of Virtual Adjacency, which defines inter-dependency between transportation and communications. Until, Scotty beams us up, we will have to depend on transportation and communications infrastructure for our daily living.
To date, the healthcare delivery remains heavily dependent on transportation infrastructure and as a result affordable healthcare remains a utopian dream. This dependence has created access barrier for the 3.3 billion people living in rural and remote communities across the world because healthcare delivery today requires patient, doctor and healthcare equipment to be physically co-located. When it comes to delivery of quality healthcare in non-urban communities, there are several challenges – a) Availability of trained healthcare professionals (after many years of education and training, most healthcare professionals gravitate towards higher paying jobs in urban centers); b) Availability of good equipment (due to high cost of healthcare equipment, hospitals and clinics tend to invest in urban areas where the CAPEX recovery is faster); and c) Cost of travel for people in remote areas (cost of transportation, time and lost wages).
It turns out that until recently, we have been focusing on the wrong problem. For a number of years, telecom equipment vendors and network providers have been working to provide faster and cheaper communication links. In order to deliver quality healthcare at affordable prices, we need applications not just cheaper and faster pipes. We need network-connected sensors, cloud based storage and data analytics to allow the doctors in urban centers to evaluate patients in far away places without having to step out of their office. In other words, delivery of affordable healthcare requires reduced dependency on transportation and increased application of communications to create virtual adjacency between patients, diagnostics tools and doctors. How do we do that? What diagnostics tools are required? How do we make these tools easy to use? What is the role of data analytics? How to take advantage of cloud based services to reduce the cost of healthcare delivery? How to protect patient data? Solutions are required for a large number of inter-dependent problems that intersect medicine, health technologies, healthcare policies, information technologies, business model, investment and other areas. The only way to address these complex problems is to solve a small set of problems at a local scale, test the solution within the limitations of existing transportation and communications infrastructures, learn from these experiments to create solutions that are scalable and sustainable.
The innovation in healthcare technologies over the past few years, particularly in network connected devices, has created a vibrant ecosystem that is ready to deliver affordable healthcare through virtual adjacency. We are at an inflection point to bring sea change in healthcare delivery. Since early April, patients’s of Dr. Agarwal’s have seen him using a high-tech gizmo – a network connected ECG. This device saves each ECG scan on a cloud based server, it performs basic interpretation of the ECG signal to check the heart rate and identify various arrhythmias and is capable of sending the scan to a cardiologist anywhere in the world at the touch of a button. Thank you, Dr. Hellman – Virtual Adjacency has finally arrived in Meerut to deliver quality healthcare to this semi-urban population. Soon, some of 3.3 billion people in remote and rural communities in the world will reap its benefit as well.
This is the story of affordable healthcare, Made in India.