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Monday October 3rd, 2022

World Heart Day: Charting a Course for Transformational Healthcare Change

When it comes to improving the lives of billions of people around the globe, history has shown that mankind’s ingenuity, determination, and ability to disrupt long-established ways of operating knows no bounds.

Take the man-made Panama and Suez Canals for example. These are two monumental feats of engineering which have connected both the Mediterranean and Red Seas and the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, saving vessels thousands of miles per trip. Both waterways have revolutionised international trade and helped improve the lives of billions of people with the American Society of Civil Engineers ranking the Panama Canal as one of the seven wonders of the world.

Like the huge vessels which navigate their way through the Suez and Panama canals, healthcare has historically been slow to change course, but the unprecedented disruption brought on by the pandemic created an environment where change was fundamentally necessary.

Created by the World Heart Federation, World Heart Day is held each year to inform people around the globe that CVD, including heart disease and stroke, is the world’s number one killer, and highlights the actions that individuals can take to prevent and control CVD. According to the WHO, CVD causes 17.9 million deaths per year and what’s most shocking is the fact that around 80% of these deaths can be avoided.

While modern medicine and advancements in medical technology are attempting to reduce the yearly death toll, World Heart Day also seek to educate people that by controlling risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, premature deaths from heart disease and stroke can be avoided.

We want this day of awareness to serve as a push in the right direction for heart health, and at B-Secur we believe the key to reducing this death rate lies within the increasing convergence of the consumer and medical tech industries.

To do this effectively, we need to look at where the cardiology space is today and what the future holds.

Where We’ve Been…

Traditionally the best method of monitoring your heart’s rhythm and electrical activity was through an electrocardiogram (EKG) test. They are effective for diagnosing arrhythmias, coronary heart disease, heart attacks and cardiomyopathy.

However, as they require the patient to be connected to a number of wet electrodes, they are usually carried out in a clinical setting with the assistance of a trained medical professional.

Where We Are…

Consumer wearable devices now have the ability to deliver medical-grade levels of EKG data and as they are worn by the user, monitoring can be carried out at regular intervals which builds a comprehensive picture of a person’s heart health.

The ability that next generation wearable devices provide to carry out regular monitoring can be the game-changer we need for early intervention, improved care delivery and better outcomes for patients.

Where We’re Going…

While medical devices remain the gold standard for diagnosis the next generation of consumer devices are excellent screening tools which are able to detect conditions which otherwise may have been missed. Likewise, they can also help to rule out illness without the need for expensive machines or procedures to be deployed.

We are regularly seeing companies who traditionally operate in the medical device industry move into the consumer space. The same is happening with some consumer companies targeting the medical market. The boundaries between the two sectors are becoming ever more blurred.

With advances in user-experience, such as DIY capabilities and direct-to-patient engagement, design and smart wellness, consumer technology is reshaping the world of health care.

Post-pandemic, the convergence of these two sectors has progressed at a remarkable pace and shows no signs of slowing. According to Statista the wellness market worldwide is expected to grow to almost $7 trillion by 2025 while the global MedTech market is valued at $17.87 billion. Within this, the medical devices segment is by far the largest and is valued at $16.15 billion in 2022.

Where B-Secur fits…

At B-Secur we have strategically positioned ourselves at the centre of these industries. This was underlined at the beginning of May when we launched our innovative HeartKey® 2.0 technology at Heart Rhythm 2022 in San Francisco.

HeartKey® 2.0 is a suite of powerful EKG algorithms and analytics providing breakthrough levels of medical accuracy and efficiency through enhanced signal clarity and a reduction in EKG signal noise as well as delivering FDA-cleared health data with actionable wellness insights.

The EKG signal monitoring for both medical and consumer applications can be implemented to run on device or via the cloud. HeartKey® 2.0 connects to and enhances existing medical platforms and devices such as wearables, Holter’s and implantable devices delivering better data and improved remote monitoring capabilities.

Next generation wearable devices can be the catalyst for the change health systems around the world need to embrace such as the shift towards remote patient monitoring.

It’s for this very reason some of the world’s leading technology companies have been partnering with B-Secur to use our technology to help reduce their time to market for next generation wearable devices.

Getting these devices to market has never been more important as the impact of the pandemic continues to be laid bare and health systems continue to struggle in the fight against CVD.