12 December 2014
Take Your Own ECG
As with many tests and procedures performed at US medical facilities, it is tough to pin down how much
you should expect to pay for an ECG (a.k.a., EKG).
Various sources cite prices of up to $3,000, but those
appear to include not only the procedure itself but the
analysis, as well. For the former, the numbers seem to
cluster somewhere around $200. So now, of course,
there is an app for that.
Last August, AliveCor ( www.alivecor.com) became
the first company to receive FDA clearance for an
algorithm that detects atrial fibrillation (AFib) — the most
common form of cardiac arrhythmia. As of this writing,
the company is still working to incorporate that algorithm into the
app, but it should be available by the time you read this.
"The ability to automatically detect serious heart arrhythmia
using mobile technology has the potential to save lives, reduce healthcare costs, and allow
patients and their caregivers to make informed decisions about cardiac care," noted Euan
Thomson, president and CEO.
Indeed, given that one in four adults over age 40 develop AFib, this can be an important
extension of existing smartphone capabilities. To check yourself, you'll need an AliveCor
heart monitor which is "intended for use by healthcare professionals, patients with known or
suspected heart conditions, and health conscious individuals." It is, of course, recommended
that you have a qualified healthcare professional verify the results. The monitor hardware is
priced at (coincidentally?) $199. It is compatible with all iPhone models and most Android
■ AliveCor's heart monitor
can now perform
ECGs via smartphone.
COMPUTERS and NETWORKING Continued
Post comments on this article at www.nutsvolts.com/index.php?/magazine/article/december2014_TechKnow14.
Intel Enters IoC
When the big dogs get involved in an emerging niche technology, that's a pretty good indication
that it's about to become niche no more. It is therefore a
likely bellwether that Intel ( www.intel.com) recently
announced the commercial launch of its XMM™ 6255
SMARTI™ UE2p Internet of Things (Io T) transceiver, billed
as the world's smallest 3G modem. According to the
company, the design is "based on our unique new Intel®
power transceiver technology — the industry's first design
to combine transmit and receive functionality with a fully
integrated power amplifier and power management, all
on a single chip. This design approach reduces XMM
6255's component requirements, resulting in a smaller
modem that helps manufacturers minimize their
build of material costs. It also protects the radio
from overheating, voltage peaks, and damage
under tough usage conditions, which is important
for safety monitors and other critical Io T devices."
Intel says the device provides a high level of
low signal network coverage, which is important in
places like parking garages and basements. It is
specifically designed for use in very small devices
such as smartwatches and sensors that may not
have enough room for a normal sized 3G antenna.
CIRCUITS and DEVICES
■ Intel's XMM 6255 Io T transceiver, said to be the