Cardiogram launches cross-platform features that let family members share data

Now Cardiogram users can share data with loved ones and physicians no matter if they are wearing using Apple Watches, Garmins or devices running Google's WearOS platform.
By Laura Lovett
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This morning Cardiogram, maker of a smartwatch app that uses a deep neural network technology to detect various heart conditions, launched two new features “Family Mode” and “Share with Doctor”, which let users share data across platforms with loved ones or a provider. The new features, which are available on Cardiogram premium, are interoperable between Apple Watches, Garmins and devices running Google's WearOS platform.

“We built this feature for all the adult children who bought their aging parents a wearable for the holidays. Many people have written in to request a feature that lets them monitor their parents' data remotely (with permission), and even act on their behalf in order to help them manage their health between doctors' appointments,” Brandon Ballinger, cofounder of Cardiogram, wrote in an email to MobiHealthNews. “Likewise, many people with chronic conditions — sleep apnea, hypertension, diabetes and atrial fibrillation — have written in to request a consolidated report to share with their doctor.”

Users can now share data on their heart rate, step count, diagnostic tests and habits with a family member. The system is also able to generate a PDF summary for a user’s doctor. 

While the information is now easier to share, the company still stresses the security of the product. 

“At a technical level, we use secure practices like virtual private clouds, TLS with 256-bit encryption, two-factor authentication, vulnerability scans and bug bounty programs,” Ballinger wrote. “At a user interface level, the user is always in control over how their data is shared — they initiate sharing with a doctor or family member, are shown when a family member has enabled access, and can also revoke access at any time through the Premium pane.”

Why it matters

Cardiogram developed the new feature with the aim of making it easier for caregivers to track and monitor loved ones. In particular the company expressed interest in helping adult children monitor the health of their parents. 

“Wearables are no longer for the worried well: the average Cardiogram user is 41 years old, and more likely than the general population to manage a chronic condition,” Johnson Hsieh, cofounder at Cardiogram, wrote in materials provided to MobIHealth News. “The fastest-growing group of wearable owners are those aged 55 and older, and many people have told us they bought a wearable for their aging parent.”

The founders said that due to this growing demographic and interest in the space there was a need for this type of technology. 

“While health data is private, by its nature, people with chronic conditions need tools that let them share with their entire care team, be it their doctor or a family member,” Ballinger wrote. 

What's the trend 

Cardiogram was launched in 2016 by Hsieh and Ballinger, both former Google technologists. Since then the company has been active in the wearable space. 

The company started with validation studies. In 2017 the startup’s mRhythm Study showed that the Cardiogram’s algorithm can detect atrial fibrillation with 97 percent accuracy. This was followed by another study where Cardiogram and UC San Francisco’s Health eHeart Study found that the technology was able to detect hypertension and sleep apnea.  

In the last three years, the company also expanded from just running on Apple Watches to include Garmisn and WearOS devices. 

More recently the company has inked a deal with life insurer Amica Life and Greenhouse Life Insurance Company. As part of the deal users of the Cardiogram app can get $1,000 in accidental death insurance for free, and the insurer will be able to look at the user’s data from wearables. 

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