AliveCor, originator of the widely praised iPhone ECG, is going to the dogs – and cats and horses.
San Francisco-based AliveCor, founded by Oklahoma City cardiologist and entrepreneur Dr. David Albert, as of this month is marketing an iPhone-based veterinary heart monitor to veterinary health professionals and pet owners. In fact, since the human product has not received Food and Drug Administration clearance, the veterinary version is the first to market.
The idea for a veterinary model came about six months ago, according to David McCaman, AliveCor's director of marketing. "We received an incredible amount of interest from veterinary professionals," McCaman tells MobiHealthNews.
Like the iPhone ECG, the AliveCor Veterinary Heart Monitor is a plastic case with two metal electrodes that snaps onto the back of an iPhone 4 or 4S. It takes single-lead ECG waveforms for canine, feline and equine patients, either in a clinic or at home.
The corresponding AliveECG Vet app, a free download from iTunes, displays the waveform and allows users to add notes to the graph, then automatically uploads the data to an AliveCor cloud server for storage, printing or e-mailing as a PDF file for exportation into the animal's medical record.
In a video demonstration posted on YouTube, Dr. Mark Kraus, a senior lecturer in cardiology at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, wet a dog's fur with alcohol so he didn't need to shave the animal, and applied conductive gel to the device's contacts to obtain a more accurate reading. The test took all of 30 seconds, though there are options for 60-second and continuous strips.
AliveCor is selling the veterinary version for $199, about twice what Albert has said the iPhone ECG for humans will go for once that product gains FDA clearance. The veterinary ECG is not approved for use on humans.
McCaman says the company is working on an attachment for other Apple and Android devices, though he adds that a card-like attachment for Android smartphones that Albert showed last year is more of a prototype. With so many Android phone and tablet models out there, AliveCor will not be making cases for each one. "We're not a case manufacturing company," McCaman says. "We'd rather develop fantastic medical devices."