Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Open ECG Project

Sometimes some of the most beneficial ideas in medicine come from a single individual with a vision.

Dr. Igorn Kovic from Croatia has recently started the Open ECG Project to fulfill the following need:
The importance of having such a(n open source) diagnostic tool readily available is further emphasized by the fact that we are facing a global heart disease epidemic and that these diseases are the No. 1 cause of death in most countries of the world. Unfortunately, ECGs can be quite expensive and not all medical facilities or doctors can afford them. This is especially true for those living and working in countries of the Third World, but not just them.

If this project fulfills its purpose such people could build their own affordable, safe and clinically useful ECGs or have someone else do it for them. Since the solution would be open and free, interested companies could start producing and selling it for a more competitive price than those of commercially available products on the market today.
This is a great idea. Further, the concept of using a wiki to engineer low-cost medical solutions for the Third World has interesting appeal.

Here's a shout-out to Igor to wish him the best in his efforts!

-Wes

1 comment:

Christian Sinclair, MD said...

That is a really cool idea. THe site looks pretty well populated with information. I am hoping the project takes off.

A quick Google search and I found that most EKG machines were selling in the just over $1000 range.

If you only had to have one lead to measure the QTc which would you choose? I am just thinking this would be a great application in the home health/hospice world where we prescribe methadone for pain control and it would be nice to know what the before and after QTc is. But I probably would not need a full 12-lead just for the QTc, nor would the nurses want to haul around a heavy $1200 machine in their car.