Healthy Apps Bring Visualization to Medical Care

Aug 8, 2012

It was only a matter of time before your phone was also a heart monitor. In this case it’s a heart monitor for animals, since AliveCor is not (yet) cleared for humans. The AliveCor Veterinary Monitor is a iPhone case and app combo that delivers ECGs wirelessly to your phone and desktop computer.

Despite the small warning at the bottom of the video it seems AliveCor is definitely developing the app with the intentions of using on human patients as well. (Update: AliveCor has been FDA approved for human use). Before long, your doctor could be pressing an iPhone to your chest during exams or, better yet, you’ll be measuring it from home. Talk about an emotional connection to technology.

The nice minimal display seems to take full advantage of screen real-estate for the graph itself with BPM in the upper-right. AliveCor claims it’s accurate enough to make a real-time diagnosis, and if not, the ECG can be saved and reviewed on a desktop, shared with specialists or with the individual patient.

This app demonstrates a larger trend of individualized and technology driven healthcare, in many cases delivered through the iPhone. There’s Bloodnote for blood pressure control, iStethascope that makes phonocardiographs, and Handyscope for dermatalogical diagnosis.

This prevalence of healthcare apps is also a pre-cursor to a change in the role of data and subsequently visualization. Increasingly, these simple, effective, personalized displays of data will show up in our everyday lives. They will become integral to how we understand the world around us, whether it’s our medical condition, energy usage, dietary metrics or financial stability.

Where would data visualization prove most useful in your everyday life? What are some examples of everyday data viz you’ve already noticed? Write a comment below.

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