This week AliveCor, which offers the FDA-cleared iPhone-enabled Heart Monitor (formerly called the iPhoneECG), announced a new president and CEO: Dan Sullivan, a longtime medical device industry executive and entrepreneur. Sullivan sold his most recent venture, SuperDimension, to Covidien last year for more than $300 million. The company's first president and CEO, Judy Wade, who served in the role from mid-2012 until the end of the year, is no longer with the company.
AliveCor announced FDA clearance of its device in early December 2012, shortly before Wade left the company. AliveCor began pre-selling the $199 clinical-quality, ECG monitor, which has the form factor of an iPhone case that fits iPhone 4 and 4S devices, directly from its website at the end of last year. It began encouraging physicians to prescribe the device to certain heart patients in early 2013.
"Last year I was reading a magazine on an airplane and saw an article about [AliveCor]," AliveCor's new CEO Dan Sullivan told MobiHealthNews in an interview. "The article showed [the AliveCor Heart Monitor] device being used by Dr. [Eric] Topol, who's an old friend of mine from the early days of angioplasty. So, I called Topol, asked him about it, was impressed, but then didn't think too much more about it. I get recruiters calling all the time, but recently I got a call from one working for AliveCor, and -- remembering [the article] -- I took the call... and here I am."
Sullivan said what intrigued him most about AliveCor was that its initial offering points to a massive opportunity for converged medical devices to help reduce the significant cost issues facing healthcare both here in the US and globally.
"AliveCor's [Heart Monitor] arrived at a time when mobile technology is coming of age and when [healthcare] is facing this tremendous cost squeeze," he said. "Having people become much more involved in their own care not only after an illness but also for wellness" has become much more important in the face of that, he said.
Sullivan's only been with AliveCor for about a week and as such he's not sharing much about the company's product roadmap. He did promise that currently iOS-only AliveCor Heart Monitor will work with the various phone platforms in "the not too distant future". AliveCor's site promises that an iPhone 5 version of the device is expected to become available during Q2, pending an additional FDA clearance, of course.
"When I look way into the future, the opportunity is for every kid in grade school to start off their life with a personal wellness device that lets them track their blood pressure, EKG, diet, and exercise," Sullivan said. "Obviously we've got a long way to go before we get there, but that is viable in the future."