The health care industry is in the biggest, most impactful reform it’s ever been in due to innovative medical technology and dedicated researchers looking to make health care more accessible and affordable to the people who need it most. As scientists and entrepreneurs push to bring safe and effective new medical devices and technology into the market, the world of medicine is shifting right before our eyes.
The discovery of MobilECG, an open source electrocardiograph founded in Hungary in 2013, wasn’t much of a discovery for, considering how viral this graphic went on social media overnight with thousands of shares.
We were amazed, much like the rest of the world! A business card with a built in electrocardiograph?! We simply had to check it out. Lucky for us, the team at MobilECG were eager to speak with us and happy to sit down for an interview. While the viral product (the business card) isn’t actually their main project, we can’t wait to share the information we learned from the interview on this revolutionary technology and software.
Interview with Founder of MobilECG Peter Isza
What do you hope MobilECG will ultimately do for users?
The main goal of this entire project is to give people access to more affordable, clinical grade ECG devices. We’ve created a business model that allows us to make profit while providing the device to anyone at 1/10th of the current market price of ECG devices. Customers will benefit from this device immensely as they are able to use it in a non-traditional way with corresponding services and easy-to-use devices. We are planning to sell the device for about $150-250. Similar devices are currently running at about $3000, so this is obviously the main advantage to our customers. Of course patients dont want to spend $3000! We understand that, which is the drive behind the company.
What are the biggest challenges you face as a start up company with such a massive vision?
Currently, the whole project is self-funded. The biggest challenge? This device has to be certified for medical use. Plus the software is expensive, time-consuming and varies between different countries. We need an investor to cover the costs of the certification and finish the development of the services that connect patients with doctors.
What inspired you to create your product(s)?
We were kind of fed up with these kinds of devices costing so much. The high profit margins, especially in eastern european countries, has caused a major shortage of these devices. Patients are having to wait for extremely important procedures. We wanted to create something different where the device doesn’t cost as much but produces the same clinical grade reading. That’s where our comprehensive business model comes into play!
How do you feel this will disrupt medical technology?
I can only guess that MobilECG will have some type of disruptive effect on the market of ECGs. Hopefully it will be a game-changer, focusing more on the services and distribution and less on the cost.
In what ways will medical professionals or the general public adopt their product(s)?
Because the product is unfortunately not available yet, we can’t really determine this. Many of the medical professionals and patients we’ve spoken to have accepted the idea, which is great. We have over 2,000 subscribers on our web page, which keeps users informed on the latest news about MobilECG. Many of these subscribers are cardiologists and health care professionals!
Why do you feel it was hard to get funding?
We are located in a small country in Europe, so it’s obviously much harder to find an investor. The biggest challenge in regards to funding is that it involves so many people. Because it’s so affordable, there are risks involved. We hope the idea spreads like wildfire to doctors and patients! According to our calculations, even if we reach a small percentage of people, we will see success.
Has going open source helped accelerate your development process?
Open source hasn’t helped accelerate our development process, but we are happy that we decided to go this route for two reasons. The main reason was that we wanted to show that we really are serious about this product. We want to give something to people that people really want and need. It needs to be affordable and going open source promotes competition between manufacturers. We don’t care if someone manufactures a similar device after us! If it’s more accessible and affordable, that makes us happy. The second reason we went open source- it’s easy to market and people like it.
Why do you think the MobilECG business card went viral?
We don’t know, but we are guessing people just think it’s cool! Everyone wants a card! It’s not a medical grade device, it’s just for fun. It has nothing to do with our product, we are are happy to sell to people in Europe and in the U.S. We are planning on selling it for about $29.
Whether you’re a medical professional, patient or you just think a business card with an electrocardiograph is nifty, MobilECG is taking the health care industry by storm with the most accessible and affordable cardiology technology out there.