If you’ve ever had the misfortune of needing continuous EKG monitoring, you’ve probably used a Holter monitor. It’s like carrying a 1980s walkman made of metal with a bunch of wires going from it to your chest. If that sounds uncomfortable, and as if you won’t sleep or enjoy showers much for the two weeks you need to carry it around, you’ve neatly stumbled across the use case for the Mawi Heart Patch. The company just released its product, a two-lead cardiac monitor that can be read in real time.
There are consumer-grade products that can do EKG readings, including the Withings ScanWatch (and its fancier-looking sibling, the ScanWatch Horizon), and there are other patches on the market, such as the Zio patch, but Mawi claims to have done something unique, and suggests that its Heart Patch is the first ever single-use, two-lead cardiac monitor to reach the market.
The company describes it as “a stick-and-go, wireless solution” and further suggests that the disposable nature of the device is a benefit; it means that cardiologists can run tests on as many patients as they need to without having to wait for reusable Holter monitors to come back from other patients and get sanitized and maintained between uses.
“Holter monitors aren’t great,” Andrew Klymenko, the CEO of Mawi, says drily in an interview we did last week, and explains that the existing solutions are prone to dislodging, peeling and causing allergic reactions, thus restricting monitoring time. As a result, Mawi claims that more than 50% of arrhythmias go undetected. Equally bad: patients have to wait up to a month to receive the results.
Mawi Heart Patch, the company claims, can be applied in under a minute, and you can live like normal as you wear it.
“Patients can shower, sleep, work out,” says Klymenko, and highlights that it’s possible to wear the patch and live all aspects of life as normal. “Sex is a big and important part of life, and patients can have sex as normal when wearing the Mawi patch.”
“Cardiovascular diseases pose the greatest risk to our long-term health and are the leading cause of death globally. With a lack of or ineffective monitoring often proving critical, many of these deaths can be avoided with the right preventative measures,” Klymenko said. “Too often, sufferers do not realize the severity of their symptoms before it’s too late. Many patients that use the Mawi Heart Patch look healthy, exercise daily and show no signs of disease, yet have a potentially lethal heart condition. We’re on a mission to prevent the heart’s ‘silent killers,’ and we’re already working with like-minded clinics that are seeing amazing results.”
The patch connects to a smartphone device in the doctor’s office. That device pipes the data through to the cloud, where an AI analyzes the results and highlights anything unusual for the cardiologists to take a closer look at. The process is very quick indeed, meaning that patients can have feedback and next steps for their treatment.
“In less than 24 hours [the doctors] have a very detailed, precise and actionable report,” says Klymenko, suggesting that doctors can focus on treatment, rather than having to spend a lot of time analyzing data. “It takes just two seconds to manage.”
The company currently has around 30 staff, primarily concentrated in Europe. Klymenko himself is from Ukraine, and his team is spread across the world, including teams in Thailand and in the U.S. To date, the company has been bootstrapped.
Mawi won’t share exactly how many devices it has in the field, but Klymenko admits they are shipping “thousands of devices” every month, to customers across the U.S., the EU, and the Middle East.
The devices need to be prescribed by a doctor, and pricing is heavily dependent on whatever medical insurance and what medical care system you are operating on, but Klymenko says that the devices typically cost “under $250 per study.”