Imagine having a stressful week at work, with long hours and sleepless nights. One fine day, you suddenly start sweating profusely, feel nauseated and suffer from shortness of breath. Is it just stress or exhaustion? Or could it be a heart attack or stroke?
Now you need no longer guess.
By combining health and technology, you can now have a “doctor in your pocket”, which enables you to check these abnormal heart symptoms and send them for medical assessment immediately.
Heartronics Sdn Bhd in partnership with Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur and Maxis Berhad introduces EPI Life, the world’s first ECG Mobile Phone, which is not only a touch screen multimedia mobile phone but also a device which allows early detection of potential heart problems.
Launched on the 1 August 2010, EPI Life was invented by world renowned cardiologist Professor Dr. Michael C. L. Lim. This portable device measures the rhythm of the heart and enables the immediate detection of abnormal signals from the heart with a built-in Electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring device with the capability of recording 9 leads one at a time.
This will help users detect heart abnormalities at an early stage, thereby lowering the risk of secondary heart diseases and even death.
The problem with conventional ECG done at hospital settings is that they are taken only after the symptoms have subsided. For irregularities to be captured, the ECG must be taken when symptoms (dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, palpitations, chest pains) are present.
“Symptoms can be short and transient, and people may not realize what they are experiencing could be heart-related problems,” explains Dr David Quek, consultant cardiologist from Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur.
“Many people also think they have a healthy heart if they have not experienced problems before,” says Jean-Michel Mougin, Managing Director of Heartronics, the sole distributor for EPI Life in Malaysia and Brunei. “However, there are many cases of young athletes who did not show any prior symptoms indicative of a heart condition who passed away due to sudden heart failure.”
The most common cause of sudden cardiac death is undetected and untreated arrhythmias. An ECG, which measures the electrical activity of the heart, is the most effective ways to detect arrhythmias or irregular heart beat.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
EPI Life provides an essential link between the patient and the medical professional. When you begin experiencing abnormal heart symptoms, just place your fingers on the EPI Life for 30 seconds to take your ECG. If the reading is unclear, the device will prompt you to re-take the test.
“The ECG reading is then sent to a 24-hour Heart Concierge Center through GPRS, where a physician will assess it and reply to you within minutes via SMS on whether you should go the hospital immediately. EPI Life readings can achieve up to 98% accuracy, as the chip used in the device is the same as that used in standard ECG machines,” explains Prof Lim.
The device also enables users to store their ECG files through the EPI Virtual Health Folder or show their ECGs to their doctors during subsequent visits.
On top of that, there is also a health monitoring suite to monitor blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol levels through the device itself. The EPI Life has won awards such as the World Summit Award 2011 and two awards at the Asia Pacific ICT Alliance Award 2010.
“Still, EPI Life does not replace the role of a doctor,” cautions Dr Quek. “It serves as an alarm system to your heart. More importantly, remember to always listen to your body.”
WHERE TO BUY?
EPI Life will be available at the KLCC, TTDI, Sunway Pyramid and The Gardens Maxis Centers at RM2,299 each. Maxis One Club members will be entitled to a discount of RM300 off the retail price. Early birds get to enjoy a RM600 discount off the retail price for purchases before the end of September 2012.
Home delivery service can be arranged for your convenience. For more information, please visit www.heartronics.com.my
READ IT RIGHT
The ECG sensors are placed at the sides and at the bottom of the phone. Hold the two sides of the EPI Life with two fingers of your left hand, and touch the bottom part of the device to obtain a reading.