updated 08:30 pm EST, Mon January 3, 2011
Hospital-quality gadget now awaits FDA approval
Seattle-based AliveCor is unveiling a wireless casing for the iPhone 4 called the iPhone ECG that, combined with an accompanying app, turns the device into a hospital-quality electro-cardiogram measuring instrument (ECG) at the Consumer Electronics Show later this week. The unit, which is expected to sell for around $100, can be used to monitor heart conditions and pacemakers, alert users of atrial fibrillation and print or email the results as a PDF file.
The low-power, wireless case transmits the heart rate information -- collected either buy holding the device in one's hands or by pressing it against the chest (for a more stable readout) -- to the monitoring app. A second application can be used to also collect heart rate info and show overall trends, playing a "relaxation session" over headphones and acting as a bio-feedback device.
The inventor, Dr. David Albert, says the device is at least as accurate as a bedside EKG device found in medical facilities, but has the advantage of being able to be used anywhere at very low cost. The case is now being tested for FDA approval. Interested medical professionals and patients can sign up for product updates at the company's web site.