The inconvenience of sticky jellies, ball like electrodes and pinching clamps on the chest, associated with an electrocardiogram or ECG test could be a thing of the past soon.
A pocket friendly, easy to use ECG device — the size of a car key chain — will be used to perform ECG tests.
ECG is a powerful testing tool to help people diagnose cardiac diseases by checking the heart rate and rhythm.
All it needs is that the person taking the test should touch the device at specified points and the readings of heart rate and rhythm are relayed instantly to a mobile phone application. The readings can be shared with doctors on real-time basis and are stored on the Cloud for future reference.
The test is 12 lead ECG, meaning it can trace 12 different electrical positions of the heart. It has been validated with standard devices and has so far clocked a 98 percent accuracy rate.
The device costs just Rs 4,000 after discounts on popular e-commerce platforms. The low cost of the device and negligible operating costs will enable clinics to offer ECG for free as a point-of-care (PoC) diagnostic test.
It typically costs on average between Rs 100 to Rs 300 per ECG test, depending on the location, diagnostic lab and hospital.
The advancements in imaging technology, thermal sensors, AI and machine learning are enabling emergence of compact and portable devices that measure body vitals, blood glucose, cholesterol, blood testing etc.
Founded by the husband-wife duo of Rahul and Neha Rastogi in 2014, Agatsa has built and commercialised three versions of its portable ECG device.
The idea to build an ECG device came from a personal crisis in 2013 when Rahul’s father was diagnosed with a heart problem.
“To keep a check on his heart condition, we have started searching for a portable, easy to use ECG that can differentiate a normal chest pain to a heart attack pain, and can relay the readings to doctor on real time basis, but we couldn’t find one in the market,” Neha told Moneycontrol.
The couple, who are electronics engineers, decided to develop a device themselves to address the gap in the market, leading to the launch of their first portable ECG device.
“The device was tested on patients in Narayana Hrudayalaya hospital comparing it with the conventional ECG machines, before it was validated by cardiologists,” Neha said.
She added that there is ample of demand for their ECG device from small clinics that cannot afford big ECG machines.
“They are using our ECG as point of care diagnostic device to test a patient,” Neha said.
Conventional ECGs that hospitals use cost anywhere between Rs 60,000 and Rs 80,000. Other brands of portable ECGs AliveCor, EMAY, DrTrust that can be imported cost above Rs 10,000.
She continued that more than 1 lakh users and 6,000 plus doctors have availed the devices for over 400 hours of ECG and the numbers are rising.
Agatsa has raised $1 million in funding from Indian Angel Network (IAN) and the Technology Development Board (TDB), Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
Neha lastly said that they used the funds raised to expand their research and development (R&D) as the company plans to develop a portfolio of other medical devices. – MoneyControl