26 Jun 2018

Wearable ECG monitor can significantly lower the risk of heart disease

People exercise to get their blood pumping, but it’s easy to overdo it. HeartBit recognised a gap in the market for a wearable ECG device that monitors the heart’s stress levels. To make its vision a reality, HeartBit embraced IBM Cloud and Watson technologies, enabling fitness plans tailored to users’ unique physiology and external conditions.

For a long and healthy life, it’s vital to get – and stay – fit, but the thin line between working out safely and stressing out your heart isn’t always clear. HeartBit, a Hungarian start-up, saw an opportunity to capitalise on the thriving wearable technology market while providing unprecedented insight into heart health.

Optimizing user’s approach to exercise

Most existing activity trackers only record users’ pulse rate. HeartBit aimed to take real-time heart monitoring to the next level through a wearable electrocardiogram (ECG) device. By measuring electrical signals produced by your heart each time it beats, an ECG can detect signs of arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation and other potential anomalies. Through HeartBit, the company wanted to alert wearers to warning signs immediately and, over the long-term, build ECG profiles of users to help them optimise their approach to exercise.

George Kozmann Jr., CEO of HeartBit, picks up the story: “The road to fitness is different for every person: it can depend on their unique physiology, preferences and the conditions in which they’re exercising. We wanted to tap into a growing enthusiasm for running and other cardio exercise by empowering people to work out safely – achieving their fitness goals while protecting their most important organ.”

To fulfill this vision, HeartBit needed a technology platform capable of processing the 10,000 data points per second it planned to collect and storing them securely. The company also wanted to take advantage of machine learning to enable personalised recommendations. George Kozmann Jr. comments: “We are a start-up with a big vision, so we needed a vendor that could guide us through infrastructure design and support us as we took our solution worldwide. With IBM Cloud services we can scale easily and economically, removing barriers to expansion so we can turn HeartBit into a big player in the wearable technology market.”

Making every beat count

By addressing a gap in the marketplace, HeartBit anticipates significant sales within 12 months of launching its new device. The solution will help users keep their cardiac health within the optimal range, so that they can realise fitness goals faster without incurring any harm. It can draw attention to risk factors that signal cardiac events, providing a record of ECG data that can be shared with medical professionals. And for customers with existing health problems, the device could accelerate rehabilitation.

“Powered by IBM technology, HeartBit will help users get fit safely and effectively,” explains George Kozmann Jr. “It meets a wide range of use cases, and we see the potential for many more. We expect to sell tens of thousands of units within year one.”

Working with IBM enables short time-to-market for HeartBit solutions, helping the company move fast on the opportunity ahead of competitors. Through the IBM Cloud, HeartBit gains cost-effective access to an extensive choice of enterprise-class data science tools.

George Kozmann Jr. remarks: “It’s essential that we bring HeartBit to market rapidly and efficiently and joining forces with IBM is making that happen. As a new brand, it’s a huge benefit that we can align ourselves with the IBM reputation for excellence.”

As sales ramp up, HeartBit can draw on the scalability and international resources of IBM Cloud solutions to drive company growth.

George Kozmann Jr. concludes: “IBM has data centers all over the world, which will provide the ideal support as we put our international growth strategy into action. With IBM Cloud services we can scale easily and economically, removing barriers to expansion so we can turn HeartBit into a big player in the wearable technology market.”

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