IneedMD’s EKG glove is an inexpensive, easy-to-use electro-cardiogram that interfaces directly with a tablet to monitor heart activity. Will this save lives at home, hospitals and the battlefield?
Medical startups often focus on disruptive ways to deliver life-saving solutions that may not necessarily cost an arm and a leg. In 2010, a team started developing a glove — a mitten, actually — that was intended to replace traditional electrocardiograms (EKGs or ECGs). Emergency medical technicians usually employ a one-lead EKG during emergency situations, but this provides limited data on heart activity. At a hospital or lab setting, EKGs would use up to 12 leads to provide vectors of electrical conduction from different angles.
EKGs are usually difficult to apply, however, and will require a skilled technician and a cumbersome process. While EKG electrodes may be sterile, the plugs and wires that are connected to the leads are reused — sometimes resulting in infection amongst injured patients.
IneedMD’s EKG Glove does away with all this complexity, and will allow a physician, or even any person without medical skills or knowledge, to use the device to track heart activity.
Once placed on the chest through a peel-and-stick action, the glove can be connected to any standard EKG machine. Even better, the EKG Glove has its own system-on-chip and Bluetooth radio, which enables it to interface with a Microsoft Surface tablet to display readings. The included application even interfaces with a cloud-based electronic healths record (EHR) system, for further analysis or record.
Applications for the EKG Glove extend from the home and hospital use to the field — the device has been lauded by a military contractors network as one of the best ligthweight, life-saving battlefield technologies for use by medics. Others include a foam injection for stopping bleeding, an ultrasonic tourniquet for dealing with dramatic bleeding, and the HemCon bandage, which encourages coagulation to reduce bleeding.
What makes the device more attractive is its price. At $20 each, the EKG Glove can be inexpensively deployed across emergency services, field medics in the military services, hospitals, clinics and even homes.
Will the $20 EKG mitten save our lives?