News Feature | March 20, 2017

AliveCor's AI-Enabled Platform For Early Afib Detection Backed By Mayo Clinic, Omron

By Suzanne Hodsden

AliveCor's Kardia Mobile

The next generation of AliveCor’s electrocardiogram (ECG) technology for mobile devices — Kardia Pro — includes an AI platform that allows for earlier detection of atrial fibrillation (Afib), a leading cause of stroke. AliveCor also announced a series D funding round of $30 million, led by Omron Healthcare and Mayo Clinic, which will be used to accelerate innovations and expand adoption of AliveCor’s technology worldwide.

AliveCor’s MoMe Kardia, a wireless remote monitoring system that aids doctors in the diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmias, was cleared by the FDA last year. The system is the industry’s first “3-in-1 single piece device” that can capture, store, and transmit ECG and motion data, transmit and perform analysis, and send alerts based on actionable data for physician reviews without any interaction with the patient.

“What I find so compelling about Kardia is how it empowers my patient, making them much more proactive in their own healthcare,” said Theodore Takata, cardiac electrophysiologist, in a recent press release. “Reviewing data this quickly also lets me make important medical decisions, accelerating the time to diagnosis and avoiding unnecessary healthcare utilization.”

Kardia Pro is outfitted with an “industry-first artificial intelligence-enabled platform” that allows doctors to track their patients remotely and be alerted to early signs of Afib, the most common form of cardiac arrhythmia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that between 2.7 and 6 million people in the US have Afib, which increases a person’s risk of stroke by four or five times and causes approximately 15 to 20 percent of ischemic strokes.

AliveCor CEO Vic Gundotra stated in a press release that the new system would help “drive healthcare toward the 21st century”  by tracking “important measures of physiology like weight, activity, and blood pressure—and, for the first time, AI technology is used to create a personal heart profile for each user, enabling user identification.”

The development and commercialization of the Kardia Pro platform will benefit from $30 million of funding by various investors, including Mayo Clinic and Omron Healthcare. AliveCor and Mayo Clinic first partnered in October to investigate “hidden health signals” using mobile ECG devices and machine learning to analyze millions of ECG recordings.

Omron Healthcare, which recently unveiled a smart watch-sized blood pressure monitor, is partnering with AliveCor to advance its own software capabilities, drive awareness of heart health awareness, and transform the doctor patient relationship dynamic with state-of-the-art technology, said Omron CEO Ranndy Kellogg in the press release.

Erik Bracciodieta, a senior analyst from Decision Resources Group, recently wrote for MDO that it remains to be seen if next-generation technology like Kardia, or implanted technology like Medtronic’s Reveal LINQ, will supplant traditional monitoring technology.

“So, will physicians replace all their ECG monitoring with post-symptomatic smart-phone devices? How much data are they willing to forego for the sake of convenience?” wrote Bracciodieta. “At the very least, AliveCor’s device will be used to supplement the [traditional] monitoring, perhaps even contributing to decision whether long-term monitoring is warranted for symptomatic patients.”