QardioArm at CES 2015

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This year post-CES, ExitEvent wanted to showcase NC talent that is disrupting the rest of the nation. We start with a new partner of Durham-based Validic, an example of the type of device manufacturer making the startup grow so quickly.

Meet Qardio, a San Francisco and UK-based wearable device manufacturer that is changing the healthcare industry. 
 
Qardio recognizes that people want to take control of their own health. And they want to do it with new, user-friendly personal devices rather than the old-fashioned doctor's office ones. Qardio is betting that the devices of the future will integrate modern design with accurate medical-grade technology and sensors to collect and deliver information in real-time. 
 
Connectivity is also key, and that's where Validic comes in. 
 
Quardio Booth at CES
Qardio is a San Francisco and UK-based startup up that makes heart health tracking devices. It is a partner of Durham-based Validic. Credit: Jivan Achreja/ExitEvent

I sat down with the CEO of Qardio, Marco Peluso, to learn the company’s mission and history, and how it's linked to Validic. The key to each Qardio product is an emphasis on both material design and user experience—Qardio’s products do not look like traditional medical devices, instead they look innocuous and non-threatening. 
 
Validic's technology is also critical, as it makes the Qardio platform available to over 100 million customers served by Validic's healthcare provider clients. Validic is fast becoming the go-to place for hospitals and other providers to collect data from hundreds of types of wearable devices, helping physicians better track their patients' health. For manufacturers like Garmin, Fitbit, Up, iHealth, Withings and now Qardio, Validic gives access to that ever-growing market. 
 
Upon first glance, I (and many others) thought that Qardio was debuting a line of sleek Bluetooth speakers in an array of colors. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Qardio showcased its QardioArm, a blood pressure monitor that is sleek and about the same size as the average speaker. It looks like something one would keep on a desk or in plain sight. 
 
Peluso came up with the idea after his father had a trans-ischemic attack (TIA) four years ago while on the phone with Peluso. After the event, Peluso’s father went through numerous rounds of testing to determine the cause of the TIA. Peluso’s father found out later, purely by chance timing when signs were evident, that he was suffering from atrial fibrillation. It could have been caught earlier if he had a regular monitoring solution. Thus, QardioArm was born: a well designed, easy-to-use solution for everyday health monitoring that syncs with electronic health record systems via partnership with Validic. The deal was inked in December 2014. 
 
QardioArm works with Validic to send pertinent captured health information across the medical pipeline, so physicians can now suggest patients purchase the device and then see blood pressure measures virtually. Besides its recent integration with Validic, Qardio says it's the first company to create a medical device integrated with Apple Health. 
 
In addition to the QardioArm, Qardio showcased an EKG/ECG monitor called QardioCore (and won two CES Innovation Awards) and just-launched QardioBase smart scale and QardioMD heart health monitoring tool. QardioCore seeks to improve the detection of cardiac conditions without disrupting normal life, in stark contrast to cumbersome monitors that involve invasive application procedures and electric diodes. It fits around the chest like a health care monitor an athlete might use.
   
“We want to make tools that are not only effortlessly functional, but that patients and physicians want to use,” Peluso told me. All three new products will be released in Spring 2015. QardioArm pairs with any iOS or Android smartphone, and it is available now in seven colors for a retail price of $100.

QardioCore CES 2015
QardioCore is an EKG/ECG monitor that is worn around the chest and that syncs with an iPhone. Credit: Jivan Achreja/ExitEvent