Mayo device helps monitor heart patients from afar

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The mobile health monitor marketplace got a new entrant last week: the BodyGuard Remote Monitoring System, from Preventice.

Preventice's first product, which incorporates a Mayo Clinic algorithm, goes beyond the exercise space and monitors heart rhythms, respiration and activity with a small system that consists of a peel-and-stick patch that transmits information to a phone that comes along with the kit. The FDA 510(k) device then sends the patient information to a third party which crunches the data. Preventice marketing EVP Michael Emerson tells MM&M that while ECG monitoring is the current focus, the device has the potential to be a springboard into something more.

“This is the first device of what will be a family of devices that will line up according to what a doctor wants to order monitored," says Emerson. "Whatever ailment you might have, we will have something that will keep track of it and hopefully keep you safer, healthier and more comfortable.”

Until then, the 30-day prescription monitor is going to be strictly cardiovascular, with a tab that comes to around $700 – with the costs evenly divided between the technology and the data crunching support. Patients will not be able to learn much from the data that's shuttling from monitor to phone – Emerson said the designers at Mayo wanted to make sure patients didn't “become amateur doctors” – but it does include an alarm button wearers can push if they feel discomfort. He said the alarm then triggers a series of questions on the phone about the discomfort. The ECG data reflects this feedback in the readout, making it easier to track the two minutes before and two minutes after the event.

A dedicated sales team will be talking up the device, but the majority of the outreach will come from the facilities that provide diagnostics to practices. Emerson said the price point and the aesthetics make it an appealing, cheaper option than the typical holter monitor. In addition to heart patients, he said the device could go beyond this sort of medical care, and is being tested in Italy among athletes, and the monitor's small size and easy placement means it won't interfere with an athlete's movement, unlike current monitors. Emerson added the company has about six commercial projects underway and they “could become substantial revenue” by the fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter of 2014.

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