Remote monitoring for heart patients: interview with Dr. Waqaas Al-Siddiq, CEO of Biotricity


Biotricity, a medical technology company based in California, developed the Bioflux system, a mobile cardiac telemetry device. The system is a three-channel ECG monitor and allows the collection and transmission of continuous data to a call center in case of detection of anomalies. If the detected problem is considered serious, a physician may contact the patient to review him or her and call for intervention.

Remote heart monitoring has made it easier to detect intermittent problems such as arrhythmias and allows doctors to create a long-term picture of someone’s heart health as they go about their daily lives. The Bioflux system consists of patients carrying a holter and three cables, and allows them to move and perform daily activities without too much discomfort. The device has a built-in cellular modem for data transmission and lasts for 30 days. The company recently announced the launch of Biotres, a three-lead device for ECG and arrhythmia control, aimed at lower-risk patients. The device focuses on comfort for long-term wear.

Medgadget He had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Waqaas Al-Siddiq, President, CEO and Founder of Biotricity on this technology.

Conn Hastings, Medgadget: Give us an overview of heart disease and the burden it has on society and patients.

Waqaas Al-Siddiq, Biotricity: Heart disease is the number one killer in almost every country in the world, both for men and women. Beyond the impact on lives, it also has the greatest impact on health care costs in almost every country. Heart disease is an ongoing problem, requiring persistent intervention and management. Improper management of a heart condition can also lead to problems that develop in other conditions, causing individuals to have more than one chronic condition. As such, timely intervention and management of heart problems can improve patients ’lives while reducing costs.

Medgadget: What role does remote monitoring play in cardiac treatment?

Al-Siddiq declined: Heart problems are notoriously difficult to diagnose due to their intermittent nature. Arrhythmias in particular are difficult, as they are mostly intermittent and asymptomatic. Did you know that 1 in 18 Americans suffers from cardiac arrhythmia? As such, long-term follow-up is needed to detect these problems for further diagnosis. Tracking is used to collect long-term data that is then analyzed to determine the patient’s condition. Then, a treatment decision is made. But it all starts with control. Follow-up is also used after the procedure and subsequent diagnosis to manage the patient, determine if the intervention has been successful, and, if necessary, make adjustments to medications or treatment approaches. As such, follow-up is initially used for diagnosis, but also continuously to support the direction of treatment.

Medgadget: Give us an overview of the Bioflux device and its features.

Al-Siddiq declined: Bioflux is mainly used for initial diagnosis and for continuous records to determine if the patient is stable or if changes are needed. The device is a 3-channel ECG monitor that the patient wears under clothing for a prescribed period of time. The device continuously collects the patient’s ECG and analyzes it for abnormalities. If an anomaly is detected, the data is transmitted in real time to a call center for review. If an abnormality is within the range that a physician considers urgent, it will remind the patient or intervene.

Medgadget: Is the device easy to use? How have patients found it?

Al-Siddiq declined: The Bioflux device is quite simple to use. The patient wears it continuously and presses a button if he feels a symptom or problems. Other than that, the data is collected continuously and the patient only needs to charge the device once a day. Patients have found the device easy to use, but there are some inconveniences in carrying it. Because it is a medical device and needs the most accurate data, it uses three different points of contact on the chest to collect data, which require sticky electrodes and a cable. In general, patients do not care, as it is about their care and collection of enough data. Most importantly, the device can transmit in real time, so if a problem is detected, the data can be reviewed remotely.

Medgadget: Please give us an overview of how clinicians receive and analyze data provided by the Bioflux device.

Al-Siddiq declined: Doctors and their staff receive the data on our portal. Data is provided in two ways: a final summary and continuous data based on device detection. This data is reviewed by the doctor’s nursing staff to determine if there is enough data, if there is a problem that needs to be resolved, or if something needs to be passed on to the doctor. The medical staff performs a daily data review to obtain continuous data and the summarized data is reviewed at the end of the study time (duration for which the device was prescribed).

Medgadget: Please give us an overview of Biotres, a 3-lead connection device for ECG and arrhythmia control, which Biotricity plans to introduce later this year.

Al-Siddiq declined: This Biotres device is a simplified version of our Bioflux device. It is designed to continuously record patient data instead of recording and analyzing, followed by transmission in case of abnormality detection. The Biotres device is a compact version designed for long-term comfort and wear for lower-risk patients. In this case, doctors do not expect patients to have an abnormality that requires intervention in order to be able to use a simpler and more compact device that optimizes usability. As such, the Biotres device records the data continuously and hangs at the end of the prescribed control time. Comparatively, Bioflux records data continuously while analyzing it simultaneously to detect anomalies, at which point it will transmit the data in real time.

Link: Biotricity homepage …

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