Antidote: The Glove

Marc Siegel, MD
Marc Siegel, MD

The day is coming very soon when if you're sitting in your living room and experience chest pain, you'll be able to slap a simple device known as “The Glove” on your chest, instantly beaming your EKG across town or across the country to where your doctor can see it. Standard EKG leads take several minutes to put on and a life can be lost in the process. The Glove replaces these leads. It can be used by Emergency Personnel out in the field to create a full 12-lead EKG, which provides a three-dimensional view of the heart and is much more likely to discover an irregular heart rhythm or injury to the muscle.

And even an untrained person can use The Glove. It is a polyester film (Mylar) which is both water and heat resistant, does not conduct electricity, and has not been found to cause a skin allergy. Not only that, but The Glove does not have to be removed when a chest x-ray is taken.

The Glove can currently be attached by cable to a standard EKG machine, or to any computer, and it will soon contain a computer chip that will make it self-contained. In the future, a patient will be able to feel a chest pain or the slightest thump or palpitation, put on The Glove, and beam their EKG to any doctor anywhere.

The Glove has been studied in Israel and the U.S. and has been found to be comparable in accuracy to a standard EKG. The Glove is cheap (around $20) and may be used anywhere from a hospital to a home to an airplane to a boat. It is disposable, so you avoid the infections that come with reusing or the inaccurate readings that come with incorrect lead placement.

The Glove is right in the middle of the exciting new field of providing remote access to real time health information. IBM, Microsoft, PreventiceTM, and other companies have developed remote EKG programs using smartphone technology, but The Glove is leading the pack.