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Swedish boffin turns mobile phone into electrocardiogram

Now you can wear your heart on your sleeve
Fri Feb 15 2008, 11:12

BOFFINS IN SWEDEN have invented a system turns any mobile phone into a heart monitor and sort of personal guardian.

The system, the creation of Stockholm based Kiwok, turns any mobile phone handset into a mobile ECG (electro-cardiogram).

You get a periphal which has a plug on one end, and a sucker on the other. You plug one end into your handset, and then stick the sucker over where you heart should be.

Software installed on your handset then monitors your heart rate. Better still, it can automatically phone a doctor, or hospital, if dangerous abnormalities are observed. If the GPS (geo positioning system) is doing its job, the phone could even pinpoint the street on which you’ve either collaped, or are threatening to. (Mind you, in London, the ambulance man would only have to look for the crowd of chavs emptying your pockets).

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The system is currently designed for patients recovering from heart attacks, but could eventually be widened to the general public, says Bjorn Soderberg, the marketing director who showed the system off at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

“At the moment heart attack patients are kept in hospital for two days, during which they’re wired up to machines for monitoring. After that they go home. This is the most vulnerable time for them,” he said. “Mobile technology like this could keep them safe for longer. It also means that patients could be monitored without having to permanently wire them up to a machine.”

The service could even be used when you go abroad. Soderberg claims the invention will give better and quicker diagnosis and faster therapy decisions, better follow up on the quality of care and better evaluation of medications.

“The bottom line is that it will save people’s lives,” said Agneta Wistrand, the information director for Kiwok.

Interestng point. While giving the demo, The INQ noticed that Bjorn Soderbe rg’s heart rate was 120 beats per minute. Mind you, he was slurping Champagne at the time. µ

 

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