The Smartheart device, which is estimated to cost US$499, hooks around the user's chest, much like a heart rate monitor. The device then records a hospital-grade electrocardiogram (ECG). Smartheart connects to your iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android device via Bluetooth, allowing you to view your ECG in detail, and email it to your physician.
While there is no substitute for an in-hospital ECG, Smartheart could be a great resource for people with cardiovascular diseases. Rather than having to go to the hospital and endure a tedious ECG, they can record them from home, and send them to their physicians. And if the physician finds something irregular, then the user can go to the hospital.
In addition to saving time, Smartheart could also save people a lot of money. While the $499 price tag sounds expensive, it's still better than frequent visits to the doctor. And, in time, healthcare plans might cover at least part of the device's cost.
Our only concern is that people might rely too much on this homebrew solution. We don't know how effective it really is by comparison, but we think it's safe to assume that people with serious conditions should continue their traditional ECGs.