Spaulding Medical has created a quick, inexpensive and easy-to-use system for care providers tracking the heart health of their patients.
The Spaulding ECG, or electrocardiograph, is a revamped, highly portable version of the larger ECG systems designed to ease the process of obtaining data on patients’ heart functions.
While many hospitals have older “legacy” ECG systems in place, very few nursing homes and care facilities have easy access to them. To obtain ECG readings for any given patient, many nursing homes have to call in a mobile provider to lug in the heavy machinery, get a reading, send the data to someone who can interpret it, and then wait days for that analysis.
The problem with these old systems, says Spaulding Medical CEO Amanda Baltz, is they are “too expensive, too hard to train on, and too difficult to use.”
“Our device gives a really fast ECG read,” Baltz said. “It’s all cloud connected, so we can hook them in with a licensed in-state cardiologist.”
By using just the essential machinery of legacy ECG’s and relegating most of the work to the cloud, Spaulding Medical is able to have an ECG device that fits in-hand, and can send data immediately to the company’s webECG platform.
webECG acts as an online database for storing patient cardiac data. It allows for tracking an individual’s heart readings over long periods of time, showing trends and giving insight to physicians and nurses alike.
The system also connects to free mobile applications, which are available for Android and IOS devices. They display the connected ECG data right on the mobile device.
This means that for rural nursing homes, interpretations of ECG data can be obtained in “seconds and minutes” rather than hours and days.
Quick response time and ease of use translate into reduction of rehospitalizations, something Baltz points to as a major selling point for the system.
“Avoiding rehospitalizations is a hot topic, and this has had great success,” Baltz said.
One site that implements the Spaulding ECG was able to avoid 10 unnecessary hospital visits over 90 days, a difference Baltz says is enormous. In fact, if a nursing home can prevent just one unnecessary hospital visit, the cost-savings will pay for the entire system, she says.
The cost for the physical system and the first year’s license is $1,999, with yearly license fees of $299 after that. Legacy systems can run from $2,500 to over $7,000 for the system alone, according to Baltz.
Cost savings for the facilities are just one major benefit. As Baltz points out, the company’s system makes the entire process of obtaining ECG data easier for everyone involved.
“Feedback has been stellar,” she said. “Nurses and staff love to use it.”
She added that the older folks greatly appreciate the system, as it can be used by the same familiar caregiver each time, rather than a technician they don’t know.
“People who receive the ECG’s don’t find it as invasive, which makes the whole process easier and better for everyone,” Baltz said.
The Milwaukee-based company only has two employees currently, but Baltz says more will come aboard “depending on funding and timing.” The company is opening a funding round later this month that will support mobile development.
Spaulding Medical presented at the Wisconsin Technology Council’s Early Stage Symposium in November 2016, which led to “a great connection.”
The company is currently in talks with a large Midwestern health care system about licensing and partnership opportunities.
“We are really excited,” Baltz said.
–By Alex Moe