Portable ECG devices

Shivneel Prakash, and director of operations Jane Kumar with the portable ECG devices at their office in Suva. Picture JONACANI LALAKOBAU

PROVIDING Fijians with the option to monitor their heart health from the comfort of their homes, the Spandan portable ECG device is now available in Fiji through Life Safe Investments.

The pocket-sized 12-lead ECG machine can reportedly detect over 39 heart diseases and claims a 99.7 per cent accuracy rate to the traditional ECG machines used clinically.

Needing no charging or batteries, the device only needs to be connected to a smartphone to be able to generate unlimited and multiple-user test reports, including a simplified summary and possible symptoms of any detected abnormalities through a smartphone App.

Managing director of exclusive local importer and distributer Life Safe, Shivneel Prakash suggests these reports being sent to doctors in place of in-person consultations in some cases, could save time and resources and ease the load on local cardiologists and general practitioners, freeing them up for more urgent cases.

“The global healthcare system is rapidly moving towards tele-medicine, and it is about time Fiji takes its first few steps towards introducing this locally and introduce such technologically advanced and innovative ideas into our healthcare system,” Mr Prakash said.

Available at a significantly cheaper price than its larger counterparts typically seen at hospitals, the hope is that these devices making heart tests accessible to the average person will allow for more instances of early detection.

Mr Prakash first came across the device while watching reality TV show, Shark Tank India, where the original creators of the device, Rajat Jain, Nitin Chandola, Sabit Rawat and Saurabh Badola, pitched the idea to a panel of potential investors and secured a 1 crore ($F270,000) deal with all five potential investors sharing the agreed upon equity percentage.

Mr Prakash happened to watch the show shortly after having suffered a concerning misdiagnosis himself and jumped at the idea of lowering the chances of future misdiagnoses in relation to heart disease in Fiji.

“Last year I got severely sick, so I went to a doctor, and they said it seemed like I was having a heart attack and was requested to get an ECG and blood test done and everything was clear.

So, I was prescribed some antibiotics and sent home.

“I went home and remained sick throughout the month; one whole month. Finally, when I couldn’t take it anymore, I went to another clinic. That doctor asked me a question.

“How are you still alive?

“I was there wondering why is he saying that.

“Turned out, what I had, according to that doctor, was dengue. The doctor said he was surprised I was alive and that I walked into his clinic because having severe dengue for a month is dangerous.”

With the proper diagnosis and treatment Mr Prakash soon recovered, but the ordeal left in him a desire to make a difference in local healthcare.

“It made me realise the problem is not proper treatment; it’s getting the proper and a timely diagnosis.

“We can sit at home and complain and go on social media and say the healthcare is bad, or complain about doctors, but what do we do to help better the standard of healthcare in Fiji?

“I believe it is not just the responsibility of the medical fraternity to better the standard of Healthcare in Fiji but when there are opportunities available as such with which we all can assist to better the healthcare standard we should.”

Having already sold the device to some prominent local clinics and doctors, Mr Prakash hopes the device becomes the norm and reaches the rural and maritime health centres along with the homes of as many Fijians as possible, potentially someday lowering the rate of fatalities from heart diseases in Fiji.

The Spandan portable ECG device can be purchased through Life Safe Investments at their Suva office or ordered via their social media page or email at info@lifesafefiji.com.

The device is also available at Budget Pharmacy and Prime Pharmacy.

Plans are underway to make the device available through retailers in the Northern and Eastern divisions and maritime areas.

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