AliveCor launched its new third generation smartphone-connected EKG device, a model that is both slimmed down and considerably cheaper than its predecessors. The device will sell for $74.99, compared to the previous model's $199 price tag, and is 50 percent thinner and 40 percent lighter.
"The new AliveCor third generation device is a lower-profile consumer design," Cindy Donohoe, vice president of marketing and business development at AliveCor, told MobiHealthNews. "It has the same quality and the same functionality as our previous design, but based on customer feedback, we tried to make it a bit more discrete and easier to carry around everywhere you go."
AliveCor collaborated with consumer-oriented design firm IDEO to design the new device. IDEO has previously worked with PillPack and PingMD, as well as larger healthcare players including Sanofi and the Department of Health and Human Services. Whereas the last generation of the AliveCor device had separate devices for iOS and Android, the new model works with either and only needs to be in close proximity to the phone to operate. The company will also be selling bundles that allow users to build the device into their phone case as before.
Donohoe said the device hasn't become cheaper to make -- the price drop reflects a desire to get the technology out to more at-risk heart patients who can benefit from it. That's also why the company partnered with Omron last week to increase its retail distribution.
"Our customers are people who are at risk for heart disease or who already have or suspect a diagnosed heart rhythm disorder," Donohoe said. "Even atrial fibrillation effects 140 million people worldwide, and that’s just the most common heart rhythm disturbance. For people over the age of 40, one in four are at risk of developing atrial fibrillation in their lifetime."
The devices will be available from AliveCor's online store, from Amazon, and from a number of retail outlets via the Omron partnership. The ship date for online pre-orders is January 5th.
The company also shared that since the launch of its FDA-cleared atrial fibrillation detection algorithm, users have detected atrial fibrillation in 20,000 EKGs -- about 30 percent of users. AliveCor now captures about 130,000 EKGs per month and "that number is growing exponentially," Donohoe told MobiHealthNews. And 70 percent of users continue to use the device regularly after six months.
"Big data and personalized medicine are revolutionizing the delivery of care and have the potential to disrupt the way we think about healthcare," AliveCor CEO Euan Thomson said in a statement. "We are excited to be on the forefront of helping patients manage their cardiac health. The newest generation of the Heart Monitor confirms AliveCor’s ongoing commitment to help stop the unnecessary loss of life and healthcare costs driven by undiagnosed and under-managed heart arrhythmias that lead to potentially life-threatening conditions like strokes.”