New on the scene of remote monitoring, Biotricity is tackling cardiovascular disease with a “real-time, high-precision remote monitoring technology.” Earlier this year, the company secured FDA 510k approval for Bioflux, a 3-channel electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring system designed for use by physicians.
Triggered notifications about a patient’s potential bradycardia, tachycardia, or atrial fibrillation events, based on set points remotely controlled by the patient’s physician, are sent to a remote monitoring center where specialists and nurses can provide on-demand support. Recently, Biotricity announced the development of a new product, Biolife, “a personal monitoring device” that aims to empower patients managing cardiovascular issues. To learn more about Biotricity’s growing suite of technologies which, in addition to hardware, includes an operating system and cloud infrastructure, Medgadget spoke with Biotricity CEO, Chairman, and Founder Waqaas Al-Siddiq.
Medgadget: There’s been a lot of recent activity in the world of remote monitoring. What makes Biotricity different?
Waqaas Al-Siddiq: There has been a lot of discussion around consumer health and remote monitoring in the context of lifestyle. There has been a lot less discussion around remote monitoring for chronic care and healthcare. The discussion within the context of chronic care and healthcare is more focused on mobile health apps and patient interaction, all of which generally requires manual data entry and patient engagement. Biotricity is focused on medical devices that can be used remotely to diagnose or manage a patient. This is very different as it is focused on diagnosing the patient in real-time using an actual medical device as opposed to an app. In terms of patient management, again the focus of Biotricity is to enable an individual to monitor themselves through a personal medical device as opposed to a consumer device or a health app that required manual intervention. We are focused on delivering medical devices that are FDA cleared, so there is evidence and trust when it comes to device generated data, and devices that provide feedback to patients so that they are able to better understand their condition and take actions that can be measured.
Medgadget: Who are Biotricity’s technologies designed to impact? Providers, patients, or both?
Al-Siddiq: Biotricity’s vision is to provide impact and technologies to both providers and patients. Our first product is focused on providers whereas our second product is focused on the individual patient. The vision is to help providers diagnose patients accurately and effectively in a remote setting and then to help diagnosed patients manage the condition from that point onwards. So the entry point is at the diagnostic side with providers and then moving to the patient. On the patient side, we are focused on individuals diagnosed with chronic conditions, irrespective of whether or not they were diagnosed on our technology. Our first market is in cardiac monitoring but we have plans to move beyond that.
Medgadget: Biotricity has developed Bioflux and your next offering, Biolife, is on the horizon. What made Biotricity decide to create its own remote monitoring technologies when there are a number of devices and sensors already on the market?
Al-Siddiq: We found that current technologies have limitations when it comes to connectivity, active monitoring, and affordability. Medical devices are generally expensive, making them unavailable for personal use. In terms of connectivity, most devices do not have built-in connectivity or if they do, they rely on Bluetooth or other access points to forward their data. Lastly, many of these devices are passive and do not collect or store information for long-term insights, an unfortunate consequence of little or no connectivity. Therefore, we set out to solve these challenges by building connectivity within the device (i.e. direct cellular so there is no need for a cellphone), building algorithms so that they can actively analyze the patient’s biometrics while they are using the device, and bringing in innovation at every level to help drive the costs down so that these devices are cheap enough that they can be made available across the market.
Medgadget: Can you tell us a little about how the Bioflux technology works?
Al-Siddiq: The Bioflux solution is an arrhythmia monitor that is constantly recording and communicating your electrocardiogram (ECG). It looks for anomalies, which it then flags for further review by a qualified technician. This technician is then able to review this data and determine the severity level and appropriate response. The Bioflux has built-in cellular connectivity so it does not need a cellphone to piggyback off of but connects directly to the cellular network. This leads to four key advantages: (1) the patient is able to go about their lives with less worry about no one having insight into their data, (2) it helps the physician diagnose the patient faster as data gets flagged and forwarded as needed, (3) it reduces the costs associated with in-facility monitoring, and (4) it makes the entire process of being diagnosed more efficient and safer.
Medgadget: With FDA approval complete, how does Biotricity plan to bring Bioflux to market?
Al-Siddiq: We plan to bring Bioflux to market through our direct sales force that we have already begun building and through medical device distributors. Our plan is to go after the top 10 regional markets in the US with our sales force and everywhere else through traditional medical distribution networks.
Medgadget: How will Biolife expand Biotricity’s hardware offering? When will it be available?
Al-Siddiq: Biolife will help expand Biotricity into the chronic disease management market by providing individuals with an even cheaper medical device that they can use on an ongoing basis to monitor their improvement. Our plan is to have this available by late 2018 or early 2019
Medgadget: How do these products compare to competitors on the market?
Al-Siddiq: On the Bioflux side, we believe we are the smallest and most integrated device within the market. On the Biolife side, we believe this will be a first in terms of a personal medical device for the cardiac market!
Medgadget: Biotricity’s technology platform goes beyond hardware to include an Embedded Real Time Operating System and Cloud. How do these technologies build upon the company’s remote monitoring tools and add value to your users?
Medgadget: Do you have any anecdotes of how Biotricity’s technology can make an impact?
Al-Siddiq: We have certainly heard of examples where cardiologists and electrophysiologists have mentioned that our technology could have made a huge difference. For example, there have been cases where patients have died while wearing monitors that do not actively monitor a patient or transmit data, they simply record. A device like ours could have helped.
Link: Biotricity homepage…