PHOTO - Presenting EPI Life.
The world's first electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring capability on a mobile phone has been released to Malaysia, according to partners Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur, local telco Maxis, and software solutions firm Heartronics.
EpiLife, which has been designed and developed by EPI Mobile Health Solutions, provides an essential link between the patient and the medical professional to allow early detection of heart problems, said local software firm Heartronics's managing director, Jean-Michel Mougin, speaking on 19 September 2012.
Once a user signs up for the EPI Life ECG service, they will be connected to a 24-hour Health Concierge centre dedicated to them, said Mougin. "As and when necessary, the user takes an ECG using the built-in sensors on the mobile phone and sends the ECG file to the Centre through GPRS. The data is then interpreted by medically trained professionals at the Centre, and the response is sent back via SMS to the user within a few minutes. EPI Life users will be prompted to seek medical advice if abnormalities are detected."
"EPI Life can help save the lives of those who have a history of heart disease, are at risk of developing one, busy executives, those over 35 years of age and people who travel frequently. As the sole authorised importer of EPI Life in Malaysia, Heartronics aims to avail this innovation to Malaysians, especially with the high-risk group that encompasses more than 5 million Malaysians," he said.
"Through early detection, Malaysians can seek immediate medical advice before the condition becomes serious and/or results in Sudden Cardiac Death (an unexpected death due to heart dysfunction)," said Mougin.
Consultant cardiologist from Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur (PHKL), Dr David Quek, said: "Symptoms of discomfort can sometimes be short and transient, and people may not even realise that what they are experiencing could be heart-related problems. In many instances, patients see a doctor only after the symptoms have abated. As a result, it is challenging to accurately pick up these irregularities or give an accurate diagnosis since the patients' ECGs would have a more or less normal reading by then."
Certified by SIRIM (Malaysia) and HSA (Health Science Authority, Singapore), EPI Life has also won several accolades such as the World Summit Award in 2011 and two awards in the Asia Pacific ICT Alliance Award in 2010.
Health through mobile devices, wireless technologies
"Enabling health services via mobile devices and wireless technologies is an important area of focus for us at Maxis," said Maxis head of product, device, innovation and roaming, T. Kugan. "As such, we are proud to be supporting Heartronics as an enabler for this device and to be the first telco to offer customised data plans for our customers in this area. We have offered various mobile healthcare services previously, and this is another positive step in our pursuit towards a future where we can harness mobile technology in a manner that will enable everyone to have access to life services such as healthcare."
Kugan said Maxis is providing customised service plans as the exclusive telco partner for the device, with ECG rates from as low as RM13 (US$4.23). The device retails at RM2,299 (US$748.61) each, which will be available at the KLCC, TTDI, Sunway Pyramid and The Gardens Maxis Centres. Maxis One Club (MOC) members will be able to enjoy a RM600 discount if they sign up by the end of September, and a RM300 (US$97.69) discount thereafter.
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