from the May 2007 issue

The Israeli firm's device can transmit heart data directly to doctors

Local scientists have developed a portable electrocardiograph machine that can transmit highly detailed data on heart activity to physicians by mobile phone.

The CardioSen'C is considered an advance in portable heart-monitoring devices because it uses many more electrodes to measure heart activity and is equipped to communicate the results instantaneously to a cardiologist.

SHL, the Israeli company behind the CardioSen'C, says its machine can dramatically reduce deaths from heart attacks through early diagnosis of patients who might otherwise hesitate before calling a doctor. Patients using CardioSen'C attach 12 electrodes to their chest and upper body and strap the battery-powered unit on the front of their chest. Automatic digital transmission allows the electrocardiograph results to be transmitted at the highest quality available and at a high speed to the patient's cardiologist for instant diagnosis.

The machine is so small that readings can be taken anywhere, even while traveling. The unit is automatically connected via digital cell phone to a dedicated medical control center. Erez Alroy, co-chief executive officer of SHL, which specializes in telemedicine technology, said patients who don't feel well could use the machine to measure their heart activity and consult instantaneously with physicians reading the data in real time.

"When people don't feel well, it can take time to make the decision to go to a physician or a clinic. Maybe they put it off until the next day. This is a crucial time, when there can be irreversible damage to the heart," said Alroy. "We have customers who are transmitting their ECG from any part of the world you can imagine," said Alroy. "Most people hesitate before going to a local doctor abroad. They are worried about problems with the language, about the lack of medical history. We find that people prefer to call ... back home, where they can speak their own language and then take instructions. People on holiday find it a very useful tool."

Alroy said the unit would make taking an ECG no more trouble than taking your temperature. "We believe in the future more and more people will have various medical measuring devices at home," he said. SHL plans to market the CardioSen'C first in Israel, where the company already has more than 70,000 cardiac patient subscribers, and then in Europe. The company plans to market the unit later in the United States, where it is expected to cost several hundred dollars. The company's first ECG machine developed for patient use has already been approved for use in the United States. Its CardioBeeper 12/12 is a handheld ECG transmitter capable of sending a full ECG reading to the monitor center in 12 seconds via a standard phone line. Mobile ECG machines that transmit data by phone to physicians are already available in the United States, but SHL said the CardioSen'C has several advantages over the existing services.

Optium to acquire Israeli optical chip developer Optical subsystems specialist Optium Corporation is to acquire Israeli developer of 40Gbit/s transmission devices Kailight Photonics in a deal valued at up to $40 million. The deal includes a $35 million up-front payment in cash.

Venture capital investors in Kailight (Nes Ziona, Israel) include Lucent Venture Partners, Hyperion Venture Partners, Ofer Brothers High-Tech Group and Yozma Venture Capital. The company was founded in 2001 and is believed to have raised about $12 million in venture founding.

The acquired business is expected to contribute to earnings early in calendar year 2008 according to Optium, and to close within the next 45 days, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report May 2007

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