It’s time to have a real heart to heart about health…specifically cardiovascular health. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, and February is a great time to start some serious conversation about that since it’s National Heart Month. Today, we’d like to center the discussion around some of the technology that’s out there to help combat that statistic.
Combined with better patient education and participation, utilizing technology in the battle to prevent heart disease has shown a lot of promise. The brilliance of today’s advances in technology can allow a patient to monitor themselves actively, as opposed to needing to visit a clinic to get data and being passive in their own personal health care. In the last ten years a bountiful amount of consumer heart monitors have been made available. Today we’ll talk about some of the more high-tech options – let’s check ‘em out!
The ZOLL LifeVest
The ZOLL LifeVest was released in 2009 and is a wearable defibrillator and monitor. It has sensors placed on the back and is powered by portable battery. Information about the price and how the data is transmitted is a little sparse. Most likely because this is a device intended for people who have serious cardiac risk factors and is not intended for the average consumer.
Equivital’s EQ02 LifeMonitor is clearly created with science as it’s building blocks. The company alleges that it provides a “clinical grade physiological overview of a human.” This device measures heart rate, ECG, IBI (inter-beat intervals), respiratory rate, skin and core temperature, galvanic skin response, SpO 2 and PPG, GPS, welfare index, and so much more. Using a breathable sensor belt to hold the monitor, this device is top of the line for fitness and health monitoring. In 2016, Frontiers in Physiology did a comparative analysis of the EQ02 LifeMontior and Holter Ambulatory ECG Device and concluded that while the EQ02 gave a wider range of results it could have better advantages being used by the home consumer for monitoring. The device is compatible with Android, Blackberry, and Windows, but it looks as though you’ll need to contact an official Equivital distributor if you are interested in adding one to your collection of tech tools.
This device was first introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show back in 2015 and won quite a few awards for innovation. The wearable ECG/EKG costs $449 and allows you to monitor your heart rate, skin temperature, have a continuous wireless ECG, respiratory rate, and more! Geared towards the health and fitness aware patient it bills itself as the “world’s first wearable ECG free from patches and wires!” and promotes sharing your results with your doctor. Qardio has even created a platform on their website just for doctors, a kind of back-end portal to link to data of their patients.
While the devices we highlighted in this post are on the expensive side, they do help to show that there’s absolutely a market for valuable, innovative tools for cardiovascular disease prevention, data collection, and patient participation. There are plenty more wearables on the market that are a little more accessible to the average consumer – FitBit, the Withings Pulse, Helo, Mio, and Garmin just to name a few. You’d be hard-pressed to find a wearable these days that didn’t have heart rate tracking built in! The important thing is to choose one that works best for your needs.