Heartbeat Health, which raised $2.5 million in venture capital funding, has opened two clinics in New York and plans to open several more, which the company says are key to its focus on proactive measures to prevent cardiovascular diseases.
In a world where the emphasis is on technology to reduce costs, Heartbeat believes face-to-face consultations between physicians and patients should not be excluded from the patient care process.
One of the company’s founders, Jeffrey Wessler said while digital health was “simple, fun, visual with great user experience,” the drawback was lack of clinical visits by patients. “To me, this gap gets closed by bringing the clinical experience up to the same standards as our digital health solutions,” he said.
Heartbeat’s approach is to open health clinics for patients who are at risk of heart disease and other chronic ailments, while at the same time employing technological innovations. The company has a digital and clinical hybrid solution combining, a tech-driven risk assessment and “cardiac diagnostics to hone in on patients’ heart problems and determine individualized plans.”
Heartbeat uses data generated by wearables such as Fitbit or Apple Watch in coordination with an online questionnaire that asks patients about their health, eating habits, and a family history focused on heart health. These tests are submitted prior to a patient’s clinical visit for a cardiovascular assessment.
When a patient visits a Heartbeat center, complete a series of evaluations including testing blood pressure, heart rate, EKG, and cardiac ultrasound.
Wessler and other Columbia trained cardiologists and engineers, data scientists, and patient experience specialists came together in 2016 to set up Heartbeat Health.
It is estimated that more than 800,000 people die annually in the U.S from cardiovascular disease. Heartbeat estimates that 1.5 million strokes and heart attacks occur annually and it also estimates that a combined $555 billion has been spent on healthcare costs and lost productivity for heart disease and stroke since 2015.
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