Remote Monitoring for Cardiac Patients: Interview with Dr. Waqaas Al-Siddiq, CEO of Biotricity

Biotricity, a California-based medical technology company, developed the Bioflux system, a mobile cardiac telemetry device. The system is a three-channel ECG monitor and enables continuous data collection and transmission to a call center in the event of abnormality detection. If the detected problem is considered serious, a doctor can contact the patient to monitor it and make a call on whether to intervene.

Remote heart monitoring has made it easier to detect intermittent problems such as arrhythmias and allows doctors to build a long-term picture of a person’s heart health as they go about their daily life. The Bioflux system engages patients using a holter monitor and three leads, and allows them to move and go about their daily activities without too much discomfort. The device has a built-in cellular modem for data transmission and lasts for 30 days. The company recently announced the launch of Biotres, a three-lead device for ECG and arrhythmia monitoring intended for lower-risk patients. The device focuses on comfort for long time use.

Medgadget I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Waqaas Al-Siddiq, President, CEO and Founder of Biotricity about this technology.

Conn Hastings, Medgadget: Please give us an overview of heart disease and the burden it places on society and patients.

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Waqaas Al-Siddiq, Biotricity: Heart disease is the leading cause of death in almost every country in the world, for both men and women. Beyond the impact on lives, it also has the greatest impact on health care costs, in almost all countries. Heart disease is an ongoing problem that requires persistent intervention and treatment. Improper management of a heart condition can also lead to problems that develop into other conditions, causing people to have more than one chronic condition. As such, early intervention and management of heart problems can improve patients’ lives while reducing costs.

Medgadget: What role does remote monitoring play in cardiac treatment?

Waqaas Al-Siddiq: Heart problems are very difficult to diagnose due to their intermittent nature. Arrhythmias in particular are difficult as they are mostly intermittent and asymptomatic. Did you know that 1 in 18 Americans suffers from cardiac arrhythmia? As such, long-term monitoring is required to detect these problems and perform additional diagnostics. Monitoring is used to collect long-term data that is then analyzed to determine the patient’s condition. After which, a treatment decision is made. But this all starts with the follow-up. Monitoring is also used after the procedure and subsequent diagnosis to manage the patient, determine if the intervention was successful, and, if necessary, make adjustments to medications or treatment approaches. As such, monitoring is used initially for diagnosis, but also continuously to support the direction of treatment.

Medgadget: Please give us an overview of the Bioflux device and its features.

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Waqaas Al-Siddiq: Bioflux is used primarily for initial diagnosis and for ongoing monitoring to determine if the patient is stable or if changes are needed. The device is a 3-channel ECG monitor that the patient wears under clothing for a prescribed period of time. The device continuously collects the patient’s ECG and analyzes it for abnormalities. If an anomaly is detected, the data is transmitted in real time to a call center for review. If an abnormality is within a range that a doctor considers urgent, they will call the patient or intervene.

Medgadget: Is the device easy to use? How have patients found it?

Waqaas Al-Siddiq: The Bioflux device is quite simple to use. The patient wears it continuously and presses a button if they feel a symptom or problems. Apart from that, the data is collected continuously and the patient only has to charge the device once a day. Patients have found the device easy to use, but find it uncomfortable to wear. Since it is a medical device and requires the most accurate data, it uses three different contact points on the chest to collect data, which requires adhesive electrodes and a cable. In general, patients do not care as it is about their care and sufficient data collection. Most importantly, the device can transmit in real time, so if a problem is detected, the data can be reviewed remotely.

Medgadget: Please give us an overview of how data is received and analyzed by physicians. provided by the Bioflux device.

Waqaas Al-Siddiq: Doctors and their staff receive the data on our portal. Data is provided in two ways, a final summary and continuous data based on device discovery. The doctor’s nursing staff then review this data to determine if there is enough data, if there is an issue that needs to be addressed, or if something needs to be escalated to the doctor. Data review is performed daily by medical staff to obtain ongoing data, and summary data is reviewed at the end of the study time (duration for which the device was prescribed).

Medgadget: Please give us an overview of Biotres, a 3-lead patch device for ECG and arrhythmia monitoring, which Biotricity plans to introduce later this year.

Waqaas Al-Siddiq: This Biotres device is a simplified version of our Bioflux device. It is designed to continuously record patient data rather than record and analyze followed by transmission in the event of abnormalities detected. The Biotres device is a compact version that is designed to provide comfort and long-term use for lower-risk patients. In this case, doctors do not expect patients to have an abnormality that requires intervention, so they can use a simpler and more compact device that optimizes usability. As such, the Biotres device continuously records data and uploads it when the prescribed monitoring time is complete. Comparatively, Bioflux records data continuously and at the same time analyzes it for anomalies, at which point it will transmit the data in real time.

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Link: Biotricity Home Page …

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