Sreemoyee Chatterjee | TNN | Mar 17, 2016, 08.06 AM IST
BENGALURU: Businessman Nikhil Desai, 28, recently gifted a remote health-monitoring device to his 63-year-old diabetic dad, a retired police officer. The device monitors the senior citizen's sugar levels, ECG and heart rate and saves to the cloud the findings through a paired app. A panel of doctors keeps round-the-clock watch on the device users and arranges, if needed, consultation or emergency help for the subscribers.
"Earlier, I'd be always concerned about my dad's health. With this device, he is being monitored and can reach out to experts from home. He doesn't have to take the trouble of fixing an appointment with the doctor," says Nikhil.
Nikhil, a secondary user himself, measures his own vital parameters after his visit to the gym every day. It gives him the confidence that everything is fine.
Known as BPL Lifephone+ and manufactured by BPL Medical Technologies in collaboration with Intel, the mHealth technology consists of a hand-held cardio-diabetic wellness monitoring device with cloud-based electronic medical record (EMR) and 24/7 m-consult services integrated into it. It measures 12 lead ECG & heart rate in 48 seconds, blood glucose in five seconds and monitors physical activity through an intelligent built-in pedometer.
Said Dr Karthik Anantharaman, chief medical officer, BPL Medical Technologies Private Limited: "Routine monitoring is a must for cardio-diabetics, but the effort it takes to seek appointments and travel to see the doctor for check-up is a deterrent. The device helps such patients who need monitoring from the comforts of their home or office. The doctor can easily look at the ECG on his/her phone or computer and connect with the patient instantly."
"The technology provides an option to have a back-up doctor in case the primary doctor isn't available. This novel hand-held device can be used on an Android smartphone and weighs only 70gm. Secured cloud-based medical record storage with 99.99% server uptime is guaranteed," added Dr Karthik.
"Heart conditions build up over a period of time. By using this device, a normal person can nip any such condition in the bud. The device was introduced in India last year and is useful for the rural population, and at health camps/community outreach programmes," said Chris Thomas, founder of wellatheart.com, a one-stop cardio portal to help patients with heart disputes.
Intel, which unveiled its “Sensing Platform”, with an eye on the $7-trillion Indian healthcare market, is planning to launch these solutions in other emerging markets with the help of Indian manufacturers.
The world’s largest chip maker has partnered with BPL Health Technologies to manufacture this device and market it. Further, Intel will provide the Intellectual Property (IP) and ensure that the patient data is securely managed in the backend.
The device is used to monitor blood glucose levels, daily activity and recording of electrical activity of the heart. The “Sensing Platform” in the device will relay the information back to doctors or hospitals, which, according to Intel officials can help in diagnosing health ailments in advance as well as provide real time data to doctors to help them manage their patients better.
Industry watchers opine that Intel’s move which has come a little late is still a positive, especially when the government is talking about ‘Digital India’.
“India has the opportunity to leapfrog the West, is in a position to not make their mistakes and we see all this as a market opportunity,” Kumud Srinivasan, President, Intel India, told BusinessLine at the CeBIT India conference.
This device will be taken to other emerging markets, a strategy which is similar to companies such as GE, which has taken some of its healthcare products to parts of East Asia.
While Intel has started this initiative, some analysts are not convinced that the company will be able to create an architecture that will be similar to the one they created for PCs in the 1990s.
“The question is whether these devices can talk to other devices and more importantly can data be used in different platforms,” said Sanchit Vir Gogia, Analyst, Greyhound Research.
The potential for the device in India is a no-brainer as the country spends a mere 4 per cent of its GDP on healthcare, one of the 0lowest when compared to developed markets and also has one doctor for 1,700 people.
wellatheart.com is a one-stop cardio health portal which brings innovative products to help keep One's "heart health" in good condition. Being very careful in choosing the products enlisted on wellatheart.com, currently, to monitor "heart health", we have shortlisted two great products namely BPL Life Phone Plus and BPl Life Phone Plus BG.
BPL Lifephone plus is a mHealth technology that consists of a hand held cardio-diabetic wellness monitoring device with cloud based EMR & 24/7 m-consult services integrated into it.
BPL LifePhone Plus BG is the world’s first hand-held Cardio-diabetic wellness monitor that measures 12-lead ECG & Heart rate in 48 seconds flat, Measure Blood Glucose in 5 seconds flat & also monitors physical activity through an intelligent built in pedometer.
This technology has recently won the prestigious ‘IoT Next 2015 ‘ award, ‘UBM Medica – CIMS Healthcare Excellence Awards for medical technology innovation 2015’, ‘South Asia E-Health summit award 2014’ , ‘Healthcare Leadership award 2015’ and ‘Most innovative medical product award 2015’ & 2015 “Health & Wellness India Award’.
The device pairs with android smartphone/tablet through Bluetooth and there is an APP running on the android smartphone/tablet that provides a visual guide to right placement of ECG electrodes on the patient body. In 4 sequential steps, the device acquires 12 lead ECG and sends it to the app & from the app, the data is saved to the cloud and can be sent to the doctor for consultation. Similarly, the device has an inbuilt glucometer which measures blood sugar using blood glucose strips & the measured blood sugar recording is sent via Bluetooth to the app and from the app saved to cloud and sent to doctor for consultation. The user can also use the 3 axis pedometer feature of the device and measure physical activity data like number of steps taken, calories burnt and the like and save it to the cloud.
Forewarned is Forearmed. Heart Conditions build up over a period of time. By using this device and regularly monitoring, a normal person can nip at the bud, any heart condition that may be building up. This device is a must for any person with known risk factors of cardio-diabetic disease or a patient who needs to be monitored for cardiac & diabetic wellness after receiving treatment in the hospital. The device has the potential to monitor wellness and detect early changes in ECG and blood sugar levels which shall help with early diagnosis & treatment of disease as well.
Routine monitoring of health is a must for Cardio-diabetic patients, but the effort it takes to seek appointments & travel to see the doctor for routine health monitoring is a deterrent. This is the primary cause because of which a significant % of patients with chronic disorders like Cardio-diabetic conditions are lost to follow up. BPL LifePhone+ helps such Cardio-diabetic patients that need monitoring to take 12 lead ECG and blood glucose measurements from the comfort of home or office and instantly share it with their doctor using a mobile phone app and seek consultation. The doctor can easily look at the ECG on his/her phone or computer and send back an instant consultation to the patient. The consultation fee for each consultation is collected through a payment gateway built into the App and credited to the account of the doctor / hospital.
This technology was also selected to be showcased at the Festival of Innovation at Rashtrapathi Bhavan on 16th March 2016.
The device is designed and developed by BPL Medical Technologies Pvt Ltd.
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