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Heartsense: One of Fast Company’s world changing ideas!


  • Date 8 Apr 2019
  • Sectors Technology

Heartsense, a wearable ECG monitor being developed by Cambridge Heartwear, a disruptive healthcare startup, has been given an honorable mention in the Health and Wellness category in Fast Company’s 2019 World Changing Ideas Awards.


Dr Rameen Shakur, CEO and co-founder was amazed at the news. “Being given this prestigious award by Fast Company shows that even as a small startup, the hard work and effort you put in doesn’t go unnoticed. It gives us even more motivation to achieve our goals and transform the healthcare industry”


The company’s roots stem from the prestigious Cambridge University, where Dr Shakur, a leading academic clinician and cardiologist met Cambridge Heartwear’s co-founder, Dr Robert Lowe, a senior lecturer in computational biology. Through their work together, they became transfixed by the idea that across the world, too many people are suffering strokes, many of which could be prevented with early detection and intervention.


In the UK alone there are more than 100,000 strokes each year. It’s the fourth biggest killer, with more than 23,000 deaths last year. British Heart Foundation figures suggest atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common heart rhythm condition and a key cause of stroke, is undiagnosed in up to 500,000 people. This has the potential to lead to more than 10,000 strokes, many of which could be prevented.


“It makes sense to pick up AF before someone has a stroke and put preventative treatment in place,” said Dr Shakur, currently a Jansen Fellow at MIT. “This is our guiding principle”.


Heartsense is Cambridge Heartwear’s flagship product, and is currently under development. It’s an innovative solution that combines real time data and state-of-the-art artificial intelligence algorithms to enhance detection of AF, and other rhythm conditions. Live data is displayed to doctors via a web platform, together with classification of the rhythm and the reason why. It’s designed to replicate the processes doctors follow when making a diagnosis. However, being a medical doctor himself, Dr Shakur is keen to stress that the idea is not to replace doctors, but to support them to perform their roles. “We see AI as the future, but not a replacement for the human. Blind faith in technology is a dangerous thing, and a message we want to get across with Heartsense.”


Cambridge Heartwear is continuing to drive towards success, and aims to make Heartsense available to healthcare providers before the end of 2019.

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