Heart and Asthma Monitors? There’s an App for That
Dr. Bhatt, who is a scientific adviser to Eko and will be compensated with a small stock option for her work, said
that tracking patients, wherever they live, will allow cardiologists to intervene “before a crisis.”
Other doctors say that it is too soon to tell how helpful telemedicine devices — which include home monitoring devices for diabetes, asthma
and sleep disorders — will be, given the many obstacles.
Instead, Tyler Crouch, then a 21-year-old mechanical-engineering student, spent spring break
of 2013 building a digitized stethoscope and thinking, “This better be worth it.”
Since then, he and two classmates from the University of California, Berkeley, have formed a company — Eko Devices, which is based here — raised nearly $5 million
and sold 6,000 digital stethoscopes, used in 700 hospitals.
“Medicine is experiencing a potentially tectonic shift,” said Dr. Jeffrey Olgin, professor and chief of cardiology at the U. C.
San Francisco School of Medicine, who conducts research into mobile and digital health.
“There is a black space,” said Dr. Robert Pearl, a lecturer on health care policy at Stanford University’s medical
and business schools and, until recently, the chief executive of Kaiser Permanente Medical Group, which represents 10,000 physicians.
Over the next two years, the company will participate in two studies at U. C.
“If you compare Eko to Uber, it looks like we’re moving at a snail’s pace,” Mr. Bellet said.