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Medicine Open Source Technology Hardware

12-Lead Clinical ECG Design Open Sourced; Supports Tablets, Too 134

Posted by timothy
from the every-home-could-have-one dept.
New submitter isza writes "MobilECG is probably the first open source clinical-grade electrocardiograph with simultaneous 12-lead recording and Android support. It has been designed to meet all the relevant medical standards (ISO 60601-1, etc.). Manufacturing cost @ 1000 pieces: ~$110. I had worked at a medical device company designing clinical electrocardiographs for three years. Fed up with the unreasonably high price, cumbersome design, and dishonest distribution practices of clinical ECG machines, I started working on a high-quality ECG that is different. After a couple of failed attempts to get funding for the expensive certification process and completely running out of funds, I decided to publish everything under a license that allows others to finalize and manufacture it or reuse parts of it in other projects." From the project page linked: "The software is licensed under WTFPL, the hardware under CERN OHL 1.2," and a few words of disclaimer: "Note: the design is functional but unfinished, it needs additional work before it can be certified. There are also some known bugs in it. Most of the software is unimplemented." Conventional crowdfunding may have fallen short, but Isza has proposed an interesting bargain for working on the project again himself: that will happen if he raises via donation half the amount of his original $22,000 investment.
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12-Lead Clinical ECG Design Open Sourced; Supports Tablets, Too

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  • by The123king (2395060) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @12:28PM (#45448665)
    Seriously, why? The study of medicine has only one goal. Improve the life expectancy of human beings. Surely any profession in which proactively benefits the human race should be patent and royalty-free to allow other human beings to improve and advance the technology. Why should we pay $1000's for clunky and out-dated machinery when computerisation has allowed us to minaturise, improve and cheapen, the manufacturing of medical devices.

    I'm glad there's some people in this world who see sense rather than paychecks.
    • by Okian Warrior (537106) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @12:38PM (#45448705) Homepage Journal

      The study of medicine has only one goal. Improve the life expectancy of human beings.

      I believe the flaw in your argument is in this statement.

      • In the US "maximize the revenue of medical providers and vendors" is how we roll.

        That's why in the US there's almost no money spent educating people on basic health and nutrition, minimal regulation to protect our food supplies, and $billions spent marketing fast food that's causing massive health problems and early deaths for millions of Americans. But businesses in the healthcare business are making record profits. Yay!

        • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 17, 2013 @01:19PM (#45448879)

          Actually profits are down. LOTS of medical practices have sold out or gone bankrupt over the past 5 years.

          Computers have not made your medical care cheaper. FDA approval for medical devices are not a walk in the park. Vendors take on a HUGE risk selling these devices and don't want to go to jail over a $10.00 device and neither does your doctor. EMR software for medical practices can be a pain and they are expensive. I suggest that anyone interested should, read Hacking Healthcare. It is a lot more complex than you would think.

          Yes, fast food and bad eating habits are going to kill us all. I fight the habit off daily. But if you try to regulate or educate people on it you are labeled a socialist or something else. City of New York and now some place in Cali? Can't say I care if someone is eating badly or not until I think about the health care system we are going to now. Then I think about how I am actually paying for their bad choice as well as mine.

          Now it is great that someone is working on an open source solution to lower the cost. But if it doesn't get certification, It will probably not get used. At least not in the U.S. no one wants to fight that battle in court when a mistake is made.

          This has only reminded me of a recent court case.
          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/01/william-martinez-threesome-death-family-medical-malpractice-sreenivasulu-gangasani_n_1563247.html

          • by sjames (1099) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @03:04PM (#45449515) Homepage

            Profits are down for medial practices. They've skyrocketed for device manufacturers and the pharmaceutical industry. It's a mixed bag for hospitals.

            Computers and electronics have brought costs down everywhere they've been applied except medicine. There they have boosted profits but haven't benefited the consumer.

            There is no reason equipment used in non-emergency practice needs to be built (and paid for) like lives hang in the balance. You could afford to throw away a LOT of failed ECGs that cost hundreds before reaching the price of a single current model. It's not as if a malfunction will cause it to display a normal ECG when the patient isn't normal.

            Regulations and lawsuits are a popular excuse for gouging but it just doesn't hold water.

            As for the link you provided, if the equipment had been less expensive, the man might have gotten his test sooner and tragedy avoided. Otherwise the problem had nothing to do with the quality of equipment at all. It's down to medical judgement and dumb luck.

            • by Darinbob (1142669)

              Profits are way down for many device makers. Don't let a few success stories fool you into thinking medical devices is a good business plan.

              • by sjames (1099)

                If profits are down it's because they've priced themselves out of the market. The prices are rapacious.

          • by laird (2705)

            A few points:
            - You're very right about the cost (cash, time and work) of getting devices certified. That swamps the actual development costs, by a wide margin. And that is the real reason that open source can't make any advances into the medical arena.
            - Yes, it's expensive getting into the medical devices business, but when you win, you win HUGE. Device manufacturers are, in total, making fantastic fortunes in the US, because they sell the same devices here for far more than in other countries. That's not j

        • by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @01:35PM (#45449003)

          In the US "maximize the revenue of medical providers and vendors" is how we roll.

          Excuse me, but you're wrong. Very. Wrong. You think your doctors, nurses, etc., have an easy time of it? Let me break it down for you:

          Wanna be a doctor? You're going to need four years of medical school. Cha-ching: $156,000 was the average student loan debt for a graduate. In 2009. You may have heard; tuition has been showing double-digit percentage gains every year since. But let's ignore that. Now you'll need another five years of surgical residency training. Yay! You get to start making money here! Er, $56,000 a year average. Great, right? Nope. That average salary comes with the expectation of up to eighty hours a week. Rumor has it the government plans on putting restrictions on this; if that happens, your 5 years just became about 7. Fun fact: Most residents defer their student loans during this time period (did you say compound interest? Oh yeah baby!). There's another cost too: Medical malpractice insurance. It's quite a bit higher for residents, but let's say you make it all the way out into the field. Yay! You're a doctor! A prestigious position where you make so much money even Tony Stark would nod his head approvingly. Well... actually, no. For all this work; you can now earn $156,000 a year as a pediatrician or family practitioner. Nice, huh? Not so fast there, sunshine: The government wants its due: Your takehome is now about $4022 biweekly, or a take home of $104,572 per year. Om nom nom! And don't even think about trying to get a specialist job for another 4-8 years.

          Oh, and now that you can pay those student loans you might have forgotten about? on a 10 year repayment plan, your monthly loan payment will be $1,795.25 or thereabouts. That's $21,543 per year. Sooo now your take home is down to $83,029. But wait, there's more: Medical malpractice insurance to the tune of around $3,000 per year. Burp. $80k.

          So after 11 years of hard work, maybe more, you can finally sit back and enjoy your first year's wages. You probably won't reach parity with your non-college educated peers that are making median income for another 7 years, but hey -- it's a prestigious line of work. Oh, I should mention one more thing: Thanks to the medicare crisis, your salary's probably going to drop by 15-20% over the next 7 years because of all those old people that are going to no longer be contributing anything to the economy except racking up medical bills and passing on their massive consumer debt (which eclipses the national debt, by the way -- you think the government is bad at managing their checkbook, wait until you see what the Boomers did with theirs) to those still able to work. And you can bet the top earners -- of which you are now in that category despite your own high debt load, are going to be paying for.

          And to use your own words, "That's why in the US there's almost no money spent educating people on basic health and nutrition" ... except that's a lie. We do educate them, they just don't listen. Not that it would matter much at this point even if we shovelled piles of cash by the dump truck load into our public schools... because the Boomers bled us dry, and there's nobody investing in infrastructure or anything anymore. They lived beyond their means, and I sincerely doubt America will recover, at least not in our lifetimes. Get used to each generation earning less than the previous for the next 70 years or so.

          • I'm actually on the residency interview trail right now. Judging by your post you must already be well entrenched in a residency you loathe. Sorry. When I read quote however I read providers to mean hospital CEO's and insurance companies. Certainly not doctors and nurses, at least based on the relative return on time and education invested.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by gweihir (88907)

            You misunderstand the system. These high costs of becoming a doctor serve as indoctrination, making it very clear to any prospective doctor that this is not primarily about helping people, but primarily about making money. Sure, a few idealists that manage to keep their personal ethics intact remain, but the majority of prospective doctors gets the message loud and clear.

            I do completely agree about your last statement though. The US population has become so anti-knowledge that even solid, well-researched an

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              You misunderstand the system. These high costs of becoming a doctor serve as indoctrination,

              What the fuck man? Seriously... you're signing up to pull parts of cars out of people. You're gonna tell someone they have cancer and 3 months to live. You're gonna be explaining to someone the surgery didn't go well and they're going to be leaking shit out of their ass for the rest of their life. Or that you have to amputate their leg. Or that they have AIDS. You think people sign up for that so they can be indoctrinated? And you think I don't understand? Fuck you man. Fuck you and the horse you rode in o

              • by gweihir (88907)

                Ah, those with a simple model of the world... And those that think screaming and swearing makes them right...

                Bit of a simplistic approach to discussion you have there. Not all bow to open aggressiveness and it certainly does not make you right. In fact it gives a high incidence score to the assumption of you being wrong, because otherwise you would not have to resort to an approach this primitive and transparent.

                And a bit of reading comprehension would help as well. I never claimed the people going into me

              • by knarf (34928)

                While there is some truth to what you write, said truth would be conveyed in a much stronger way by refraining from referring to copulation every third word. Capice?

                Apart from that you don't manage to explain why health care in the USA is so much more expensive than it is in the rest of the world. I assume you do know the reasons? Doctors in France or Sweden or the Netherlands or Finland are just as much into their jobs as their North American counterparts, yet they manage to do their jobs within a much sma

            • by mattack2 (1165421)

              The problem is that the US does not understand what a good education is at this time. Not that it ever did

              Then why are tons of people from other countries coming to the U.S. for an education?

              Why did U.S. residents invent the Internet, etc.?

          • by sjames (1099)

            Currently, doctors are being squeezed, but the equipment manufacturers, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and universities standing behind the doctors are making a killing (sometimes literally).

            However, $80k/year after taxes ain't bad. It's a lot more than most of the doctors patients will ever make.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Wanna be a doctor? You're going to need four years of medical school. Cha-ching: $156,000 was the average student loan debt for a graduate.

            Wrong it's 8 years for a doctor, it's 4 years just to become an LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse) while to become an RN/NP (Registered - Nurse Practicioner) or a PA (Physicians Assistant) Takes 6 years. As The main difference between the RN/NP/PA is the 2 years residency requirement for that Coveted MD (Doctor) title. The $150,000 is for a Nurse/PA. A Doctor has over a quarter million dollars in debt by the time they graduate (don't forget Malpractice Insurance is part of that debt).

            Tack on another 4 years fo

          • Now ask yourself why doctors in the US have to go vastly into debt, and then charge a fortune to recover from the debt. That's not how the rest of the planet runs. In France for example, which has much better medical service than the US, the training is free. This means that the best, most talented people get to become doctors regardless of wealth. And then they can work for a normal professional wage, without being forced to absolutely maximize revenue. So they can focus on providing medical care instead o

            • by cusco (717999)

              For many years Cuba offered to train doctors for free, as long as they spent the first five years of practice at poor and under-served areas (don't know if they still do, but that offer is good for med students in most of the rest of the world). The AMA refused to even consider allowing Cuban graduates to test in the US, much less practice.

          • This post is so full of double talk and half truth I almost don't have the energy to answer it...but it is the straight party line if I ever heard it. First, you ask us to believe the average student loan debt matches the average salary...check your numbers...not saying it is wrong, just highly unlikely. I assume one of those is a typo. Second, either your salary range is wrong or your hours a week are wrong. $156K gets you an 8 hr a day employee in every market I know of...otherwise the physician gets to b
        • That's not true at all - regulation is extremely tight. You can't so much as sell fruit off of your own tree without a food handler's permit in most states.

          Fast food isn't causing health problems btw (in fact, fast food is actually shockingly well documented, especially McDonalds which is one of the few fast food joints I'll eat at because unlike most places I can know exactly what's in it) what's causing problems is people eating lots of calories with minimal nourishment included. You don't have to eat fas

          • by cusco (717999)

            I take it you've never worked in a fast food place. Those of us who have are laughing at your statement.

        • by mattack2 (1165421)

          minimal regulation to protect our food supplies

          Really? Don't we have among the safest, if not the safest, food supply in the world?

          (Compare to e.g. unregulated food carts in various places of the world.)

          • by laird (2705)

            The US food supply is "safe" in terms of quantity, for example, and the FDA does a reasonably good job keeping deadly diseases out of the food supply (though it's far from perfect). The biggest problem is that the food industry, and in particular fast food, engineers and sells food that is quite unhealthy, making us literally sick. The human body is designed to crave things (e.g. sugar, salt, fat) that were needed but rare in the natural diet, but now modern food manufacturing provides in unlimited quanti

      • by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @01:51PM (#45449085)

        The study of medicine has only one goal. Improve the life expectancy of human beings.

        I believe the flaw in your argument is in this statement.

        You're both wrong. That's not why our health care system went to hell. It's insurance companies. They're turning a profit on human misery. But ignoring that side of the equation, there's also excessive regulation. This article talks about how low-cost it is to actually make the equipment. And they're right. Meeting the standards is pretty easy. But that's not where the costs are. As I'm sure the designers know, or will soon discover, it's getting certification for their equipment. Certification is the reason why a table-side bed in a hospital costs $500, but you can pick up the exact same item, for home use, off Amazon for about $35 plus S&H.

        If you want to fix the health care system, you're going to have to do something you don't want to do: You're going to have to give up on capitalism. Private-run insurance, private-run health care, private-run... kill it. Burn it all to the ground. Europeans figured out a long time ago that capitalism is good with non-essential commodities, but it's absolute shit with natural resources or essential goods and services that have a non-trivial cost. Electricity. Telecommunications. Gas. Internet. Health care. Transportation. These are not things that capitalism has done well with; The owners of these key resources make a fuckton of money, but the rest of us are enslaved to poverty to do so. Capitalism only works when there's a natural tendancy towards competition, and there isn't any in those areas. The invisible hand can kiss my invisible ass, because it doesn't work the way people have been led to believe. It works well much of the time. It works very well when the cost of entry into the market is low and there's no natural monopoly (like land, to use the quintessential example). But to say it always works, or to try and shoehorn it into markets and situations that it has a poor history with, is stupid. Nothing always works. Ever. Capitalism is no different -- put it to good use where it is efficient and effective, but it's not a "spray on all surfaces" sort of ideology. In fact, no such ideology has ever been created.

        • by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @01:57PM (#45449119)

          P.S. I can already hear the heads bubbling over of certain people because I mentioned regulation as being a problem, yet am suggesting institutionalizing health care. This is not the paradox you think it is: Much of our regulation is due to private interests demanding it. Just ask Tesla Motor Co. Canada, Spain, the UK, they've all done quite well at providing decent health care in an institutional capacity... though the UK system is showing signs of needing some attention due to neglect of late.

          And yes, I know you can probably demonstrate any one of fifty different angles and case studies on how those systems are sub-optimal compared to ours. I answer with two statistics: Infant mortality in the United States, and current life expectancy. In those countries, they're going down, and up, respectively. In ours, the reverse is currently true. It's generally true that if you have money here and get sick, this is the best place to be. But in those countries, you don't get sick as often, because there's a focus on preventative care, not treatment. Here, specialists outnumber general practitioners about 3 to 1. There, the reverse is true.

          If we look at it from a macro-perspective; At the societal level, their system is beating ours on both costs, and quality of life. And if the overall health of the general public, while maintaining reasonable costs, are your priorities, you cannot support our current privatized system.

          • by Teun (17872)
            I don't always agree with your posts but the three above are severely insightful, so much I'll bookmark them.
          • by Anonymous Coward

            Infant mortality in the United States, and current life expectancy. In those countries, they're going down, and up, respectively. In ours, the reverse is currently true.

            The definitions of IMR are different in the different countries, genius.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          If you want to fix the health care system, you're going to have to do something you don't want to do: You're going to have to give up on capitalism. Private-run insurance, private-run health care, private-run... kill it. Burn it all to the ground. Europeans figured out a long time ago that

          I'm gonna stop you right there. I live in Europe, idiot, and there's plenty of private medical practices, private insurance, and your myth of how life is here is laughable. Also electricity is privately run (though effectively by a monopoly), internet and telecommunications are certainly run in a very capitalistic way ... basically, I have no idea what the fuck you're talking about.

          • Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe in many countries in Europe (France, Austria, and Germany is where I'm thinking specifically), health insurance goes by a means test. If you have the means (the income) you must buy private insurance. If you can't afford it, you get public insurance. And the kicker is that you should receive the same level of treatment, including wait times regardless of whether you have public or private insurance. Or something like that. Yes? No?
            • by fatphil (181876) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @06:46PM (#45450719) Homepage
              No. In every European country where I've lived (3 of them) essential public healthcare is free. Non-essential healthcare (e.g. having a wart removed, 4 15 minute slots, say) costs almost nothing, and everyone is treated equally. Different countries cost different levels, but they're roughly on a par PPP-wise. There is also the option of private health care, and you'll be treated by the same doctors, just queue less.
        • by PPH (736903)

          You're both wrong. That's not why our health care system went to hell. It's insurance companies.

          This.

          But one aspect of the insurance industry many people are overlooking: There is a quiet move afoot to securitize insurance. This means holding a policy (life, for example) on someone you do not have an "insurable interest" in. Essentially, a CDS against someone else's life. The problem the insurance companies face (Besides getting the above legislation. That's trivial. Just slip Congress some cash and its a done deal.) is that medical breakthroughs which affect mortality rates will affect the value of

        • If you want to fix the health care system, you're going to have to do something you don't want to do: You're going to have to give up on capitalism. Private-run insurance, private-run health care, private-run... kill it.

          Lol, you say regulation is the problem but then you say we have to get rid of capitalism? As if capitalism is the cause of all the regulation. The level of WTF in your two posts is just outstanding. But I see you have behind you a regular contingency of slashdotters loving your posts, so that must make your right, right? Wrong.

    • by gweihir (88907)

      The goal of medicine is to make tons of money. Human suffering is only a concern for a tiny fraction of the people in that field.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Because it often costs obscene amounts money to develop it and people want a return on their investment.

    • Because all distributors of medical equipment are liable for the damages in case of malfunction. Doesn't matter if you package it up and distribute for free. Your ass is on the line if something goes wrong. That is why there are expensive certifications, regulations, and oversight watchdogs such as the FDA and FAGG (Europe). If you create an ECG appliance, then you had better hope nothing ever goes wrong, because someone dies due to a malfunction, you're bankrupt. That is why even your development and QA pr

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      There are other issues involved. Ie, where practical the end user needs to be prevented from making the device malfunction, sometimes there are laws that require this. Thus software can not be modified by the end users. And the users do attempt to subvert their own machines; with radiation therapy machines which can kill someone in a variety of ways of not used correctly, operators still attempt to bypass safeguards.

      Another reason is that some of the software is third party licensed. Even non medical st

  • "Here's a medical device that meets none of the standards of today, and it has bugs that need to be worked out. But, it's cheap!"

    No one wants a medical device if they're not able to sue the pants off of someone, in the event that it fails.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Okian Warrior (537106)

      Here's a medical device that meets none of the standards of today, and it has bugs that need to be worked out.

      There's a difference between "meets none of the standards" and "compliant, but untested".

      Please don't sell something short by making unwarranted accusations.

      • There's a difference between "meets none of the standards" and "compliant, but untested".

        Yeah there's a difference in the meanings of the words as seen in a dictionary, but if it's "untested" then it meets none of the standards of the medical industry in America.

      • > There's a difference between "meets none of the standards" and "compliant, but untested".

        No there isn't. You comply with the standard when the pass the tests. You comply with nothing before that point.

        The long and short of it is that you don't get sued for false positives, but you DO get sued for false negatives.

        Any device that can't pass testing and demonstrate that the balance is in the favour of false positives simply will not be used.

        Period.

        • "Any device that can't pass testing and demonstrate that the balance is in the favour of false positives simply will not be used. Period."

          Except if you're in a third world country where they don't have standards and where even something that is only right even only half of the time is infinitely better than nothing.

          "> There's a difference between "meets none of the standards" and "compliant, but untested".

          No there isn't. You comply with the standard when the pass the tests. You comply with nothing before

      • In meaning, there is a difference. But in reality there isn't. Medical applicances are subject to a lot of regulatory requirements that you cannot skip. If you have something that was not developed and released according to the applicable rules, it simply does not meet the standards and none in the medical field can use it for medical applications. You may think it is annoying or stupid or whatever, but it is law. Those regulations and mandatory QA processes exist to make sure that all bases are covered and

    • by gmuslera (3436)

      In the other hand, a device that you can't buy or is not available probably will harm you more than not having it. Making devices/drugs/whatever that could be the difference between life and death for a lot of people, but have to have to add a "sue protection" price bump makes it not available for anyone,

      Making it open source, and easy for anyone to build it also make people to decide which is the biggest risk, using it or not. Big companies could make the insured, high quality, throughly tested and expens

      • That's a good point. But would you rather use that device, or one that's been tested, and meets all of the requirements, paid for by your medical insurance?

        Please don't try to pigeon-hole me into the health care issues of today argument...
        • by gmuslera (3436)
          Not sure if everyone in US have and can afford a medical insurance, but you know, there is a rumour that there is a world outside US that exists too. And those medical devices use to have heavy patents/copyright issues usually forced by TPP-like agreements and trade embargos to make them pretty expensive or directly unavailable to others. Making them open source enables the entire world to decide to take the risk, or even to have responsible companies outside developing them.
          • ...there is a rumour that there is a world outside US that exists too.

            You're talking about medical insurers, and you're right, they do exist. However they operate in the same manner as the ones in the US do. They're all middle-men that need a cut, so (medical) prices need to inflate in order to pay the people that process the bills.

            Making them open source enables the entire world to decide to take the risk, or even to have responsible companies outside developing them.

            Ok, stop right there. Because if the people are allowed to choose the risk, then why not remove the burden on the doctors to be right all the time, thus removing the ability of the people to sue them so easily?

        • And the argument should not be pigeon holed to first world health.

          Third world countries will be very interested in affordable ECG.

      • by tftp (111690)

        In the other hand, a device that you can't buy or is not available probably will harm you more than not having it.

        I don't practice medicine; however I work with electrical test equipment every day. An instrument is all but useless if you cannot trust its readings.

        Now, let's say this ECG shows something suspicious. What will you think? Is this a true abnormality, or it's a noise from the instrument? But here is a worse case: this ECG shows nothing wrong; you lead the patient out of the door, and he drop

        • by gmuslera (3436)
          In this particular case not sure how essential for life is, or not. But lets suppose that it is the difference between life and death to have it or not. Having a quality one improve your chances, but having none (for one of the reasons i posted above, and probably more, like not profitable to produce for some markets, delivery time, etc) is having no chances. And you don't want business to make decisions based on profits that cause deaths.
          • by tftp (111690)

            In this particular case not sure how essential for life is, or not. But lets suppose that it is the difference between life and death to have it or not. Having a quality one improve your chances, but having none (for one of the reasons i posted above, and probably more, like not profitable to produce for some markets, delivery time, etc) is having no chances.

            This problem should be restated as a different set of outcomes:

            • The instrument produces true positive. This is correct, and the patient will be tre
    • Re:umm, ok...? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jd (1658) <imipak&yahoo,com> on Sunday November 17, 2013 @02:17PM (#45449241) Homepage Journal

      Modern medicine works on the basis that dead people rarely sue. The same goes for other mission-critical systems like fly-by-wire avionics. To be fair (me? fair? well, it was bound to happen eventually), a lot of companies put in a lot of effort to do a good job. The problem is, if you're on life-support or flying at 20,000 feet, there is every probability that a software crash will be followed by a crash of another sort. There have been very close calls of this nature in the past.

      But what would happen in the event of a fatal incident? In virtually all industries that use mission-critical systems, there are disclaimers and waivers that prohibit lawsuits.

      Even in non-critical systems, EULAs invariably state the manufacturer/developer is not at fault, no matter what, even if they admit they are, and to use the system you have to agree to that. You aren't given a choice.

      Open Source licenses often say the same, but Open Source allows you to validate the system to your satisfaction. You are prohibited from any code analysis and certain forms of runtime analysis with closed systems. Thus, although neither provide any form of warranty or fitness for use guarantees, you are capable of at least certifying open source as fit for use. No commercial product using computers will provide anything remotely close.

      • All good points, no doubt. But I just think he'll have a hard time selling them.
        • by jd (1658)

          Perfectly true. You seen the Open Source EEG at Radio Shack or Wal-Mart? Me neither. These sorts of devices don't sell in bulk and even the really good science tech out there rarely sells beyond the bare minimum needed to pay for development.

          This device is good, but not that calibre.

  • Really internet? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 17, 2013 @12:32PM (#45448681)

    We can come up with a million dollars to make a sequel to one of the worst games of all time, Myst, and we can't come up with $22,000 to actually change the world?

    • We can come up with a million dollars to make a sequel to one of the worst games of all time, Myst, and we can't come up with $22,000 to actually change the world?

      $22,000 doesn't buy a lot of "world change". Sorry. And there's this other thing called quality of life: Our suck. We work 40, 50, even 60 hours a week doing stressful jobs, waking up at the butt crack of dawn, and dragging ourselves and our cars through miles of clogged roadways, etc., all for those few glorious hours on friday night and saturday where we can relax. And do you wanna know what I think of "world change" at 3pm on a Friday? Fuck. World. Change. I wanna go home, kick off my shoes, and forget t

    • fwiw... It's 230 K, not 22 K$. but doesn't change your point. ECG is so nerdy... He should emphasize other uses, and try to market based on that. He could call it a "biorhythmic training device for understanding the crystals, and getting in touch with your aura. or talk up the "biofeedback" aspects of it, how it will help with meditation. That will sell to one crowd. Figure out how to use it as a kind of game controller, and the internet will fund in a (wait for it!) heartbeat.
    • Get with 11,000 small town mayors. I bet they'd each donate $5. There's lots of places where the volunteer ambulance service could use an ecg that doesn't rape the customer on price.
    • by RedBear (207369)

      I think you meant to say, "Really, Internet?"

      See, the Internet can be very helpful.

  • Nope, just was gas. Has passed.
  • by Da_Biz (267075) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @01:08PM (#45448829)

    I have been a certified/licensed EMT for over 10 years.

    "Medical devices are expensive to make."
    For many commonly-used devices (ECG, pulse oximeter, etc.), the level of technology implemented is magnitudes less than that of a decent smartphone. Sure, these aren't mass market items--but I'm also hard pressed to understand why it doesn't make sense to have an alternative to a LifePak which easily costs $15K+. Case in point: the AED you can easily buy from Costco in the neighborhood of $1K--and has lots of sophisticated logic. Just because the thing has blinky lights and makes "bing" noises doesn't mean it should be exorbitantly priced.

    "People need a manufacturer big enough to sue."
    Circular reasoning on the best of days. Does a commercial implementer of this device need a legal team? Yes. Is the pragmatic implementation of a device at lower cost that's reliable and lawsuit-resistant possible? Absolutely.

    • There is no technical reason they should be so expensive, components wise I mean. But the development and QA processes, and regulatory filings, audits, and all the other crap to make it suitable for medical purposes, make it so. That is why a WII balance board costs peanuts, but a medical device with similar functionality costs 10K. If has to be developed according to FDA regulatiosn, there need to be mandatory QA controls in place, software needs to be developed according to medical use standards, there is

  • Note: the design is functional but unfinished, it needs additional work before it can be certified. There are also some known bugs in it. Most of the software is unimplemented.

    This tells me that no matter how promising your hardware design and software, I am going to be spending a lot of money before I have anything close to a commercially viable product.

    • This tells me that no matter how promising your hardware design and software, I am going to be spending a lot of money before I have anything close to a commercially viable product.

      Apropos of nothing, I'm guessing that you have never started a business. Just a guess, mind you...

  • This will save many lives, all over the world. Wow.
    I just donated $300 to the original Indiegogo campaign, and I'm contributing another $100 directly.

    I'm someone who doesn't have much money, nor do I even know anyone with a heart condition, but this will do SERIOUS GOOD.

  • I doubt this was written by a lawyer. This might be an impediment to being picked up by a serious project because they can't take the risk that the WTFPL doesn't actually mean anything from a legal perspective.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It was not written by a lawyer. Or someone who knows business.

      The first sentence is suspect "MobilECG is an USB-based open source 12-lead clinical electrocardiograph"

      In the US, it is not a "clinical" electrocardiograph without FDA clearance to market (which is what you are doing), yet it is stated to be one. IANAL, but I recommend you get one. Now. Some people have an obligation to report this website to the FDA. If you're not in the US, fine, but statements like this will prevent you from ever getting

  • by AJWM (19027)

    Okay, this may be a stupid question, but I only count 10 leads in the pictures of the device, so where/what are the other two? Grounds?

    • Re:12-lead? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 17, 2013 @02:31PM (#45449329)

      Okay, this may be a stupid question, but I only count 10 leads in the pictures of the device, so where/what are the other two? Grounds?

      lead != wire in this context, it refers to the electrical paths through the body between various parings of the 10 wires.

      • by AJWM (19027)

        Ah, thanks.

        I'd mod you up but I've already posted in this topic. ;-)

  • A good start (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jd (1658) <imipak&yahoo,com> on Sunday November 17, 2013 @02:28PM (#45449309) Homepage Journal

    But only a start. Researchers using - it was either 48 or 64 leads - were able to identify specific muscles that were showing abnormalities long before those abnormalities turned into organ failure. Isolating problems to that degree just by collecting more of the same data would seem a great way to help prevent problems serious enough to show up on a conventional system ever developing in the first place.

    In other words, why not turn thus from being open source medicine into an open source debugger? Why let things get to the point where medicine, rather than our own creativity is needed?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Extend this to 32-leads will get you this, and by following the wave over time you visualise the heart as it beats:

      http://www2.le.ac.uk/research/festival/meet/science/vanheusden/page-two

  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @03:03PM (#45449507)

    The curse of Open Source. Good luck getting that last 10% finished.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Low cost, high profit: Perhaps commercial ECGs and other medical devices are built just like this power supply:
    http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/Power-Supply.aspx

  • I lost a son, age 25, to sudden cardiac arrest. He left the gym, died a half hour later in his office. We thought he was the healthiest one in the family. Every gym should have an EKG machine as well as an AED. I hope you never learn what I know --- no loss exceeds losing a child. Search for Jos Claerbout

  • "...of clinical ECG machines" (summary). Does the submitter or anyone else care to elaborate?

A holding company is a thing where you hand an accomplice the goods while the policeman searches you.

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