Indian healthcare scenario is quite robust and in the period 2008-2020 it is expected to grow at a phenomenal rate of 16 percent. In terms of value it is expected to increase to a whopping $100 billion by 2017 and $280 billion by 2020. India is emerging as an epitome of heart ailments, having nearly 40 million people affectedby it. Cardiac arrest is one of the major diseases and it is alarming to note that it takes away one person every 33 seconds in India. This can be attributed mainly to lack of timely medical assistance and effective use of medical devices that can identify such anomalies at the point-of-care and alert beforehand.
Having a deep understanding of this gloomy scenario, HD Medical, with its innovative Audio-Visual Auscultation technology, is trying to change the way cardiac care is addressed. Its patented technology enables the user not only to hearthe heart sounds, but also visually see them in the form of waveforms.A recording software developed in-house by the company, allows the patient’s heart sounds to be documented,analyzed and reported regardless of the location. This feature is a boon for medical practitioners to quickly understand patients’condition at the point-of-care and provide specialized assistance reducing costs and enhancing convenience and speed. HD Medical has also been working closely with various Telemedicine service providers.The company has successfully integrated its technology into Telemedicine service provider’s consoles helping in the process to capture vital cardiac information at remote locations for assessment by specialists located at cities.
While one can just hear the heart sounds with traditional stethoscopes the technology developed by HD Medical enables the user to ‘see’ what is heard thereby creating a better understanding of heart sounds. ‘Dynamic Auscultation’ as it is rightly called, enables the user to enhance the audio levels making it possible to hear even faint low frequency anomaly sounds and simultaneously visualize it in the form of waveforms (phonocardiogram). This way, it combines the senses of vision and hearing to yield more accurate diagnosis. The high sound amplification with digital filtering adds critical functionality for noisy environments or when conditions limit auscultations. The output received can be transferred to a computer where the designated software displays acquired heart sounds for analysis and generating patient reports. This information can also be recorded and transmitted via Bluetooth to a smartphone which, if required, can further be shared to the remote cloud server for future references.
HD Medical’s advanced variant, HD Steth, will be a first of its kind Smart Stethoscope with integrated ECG. The recorded data can be transferred wirelessly to a smart phone/tab to an App developed in house. Arvind Thiagarajan, Inventor & CEO, feels HD Steth will create a paradigm shift to the simple act of auscultation and take point-of-care screening to higher dimension. Mr. Arvind contends that HD Steth with its Smart Amplification (which will amplify diagnostic sounds and cancel unwanted noise) and recording capabilities will be of immense help in Telemedicine and Teaching applications. He feels that simultaneous viewing of heart sounds and ECG in HD Steth will pave way for cost-effective diagnosis at the initial stages itself. Mr. Arvind strongly feels that the remote monitoring capability of HD Steth will reduce readmissions and provide effective home care in future.
HD Seth when used effectively has capability to provide valuable information for the user. The stethoscope component of the device will give information about the mechanical activity (functions of valves) while the ECG component cater to the electrical activity of the heart. Also, the device functions on rechargeable batteries available off-the-shelf enabling ease of use for any scenario. “Our goal is to facilitate capture the basic and vital cardiac information through a simple and easily usable device and transfer that to specialist for a quick expert opinion, enhancing productivity and cutting cost in the process,” confers Sairam, Head Operations, HD Medical. Additionally, its high recording and replaying capability makes it an effective tool for Teaching and Tele-consultations.
HD Medical, with necessary regulatory approvals, has established research collaborations with University of California, San Francisco and Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, and is now working on a more futuristic product named Smart Scope that will have the capability to monitor patient at home and intervene if the situation arises. “We are in talks with Government bodies to make this simple tool available at primary health centers for effective screening of heart ailments at the early stage,” concludes Sairam.