In 1887 British physiologist Augustus Desiré Waller repurposed a desktop-sized capillary electrometer for use as the world’s first functional electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) device. Over a century later, a major consumer device manufacturer has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance as a class 2 medical device, making it the first consumer-oriented ECG device able to present the results directly to the consumer without first needing the review of a medical professional. It will not be the last.
Medical therapeutics is the art and science of treating a patient’s disease or alleviating their pain through a combination of physical therapies, pharmaceuticals and medical technology (MedTech). This branch of medical science, specifically referred to as MedTech, is receiving renewed interest thanks to the rapidly changing landscape of embedded electronics.
A patient’s medical journey begins with a diagnosis. According to a report by the National Institutes of Health “Getting the right diagnosis is a key aspect of health care—it provides an explanation of a patient's health problem and informs subsequent health care decisions.”