Startup seeks to give cardiac patients peace of mind in their pockets
Medical management tool designed by a cardiac patient, for cardiac patients, has the potential to save lives.
With necessity, and often paranoia, being the mother of all inventions, Israeli App developer Danny Oberman came up with CathMaps+ when he suffered a heart attack, and was rushed to the hospital.
On the way, he telephoned his cardiologist to let him know he was en route and needed attention immediately. In minutes, Oberman was in the hospital’s Cath Lab, the room in a hospital that is special equipment to examine a patient's heart, and was receiving treatment; 48 hours later, he was discharged.
Luckily for Oberman, doctors at that hospital had seen him before as a patient, knew his medical history, and were able to treat him as quickly as possible. But, he wondered: what if he were to have another heart attack, but in another city?
How would doctors there know his cardiac history, which artery had the stent, for example? Also, how would he know which hospital to head towards, which in his vicinity have a Cath Lab?
“Cardiac patients are a pretty paranoid group of people,” Oberman told From The Grapevine. "They know there’s a risk of another event."
Oberman’s doctors recommended he carry around his medical information at all times. But he thought that was ridiculous. There must be an app for that, right?
Wrong. So Oberman set out to create one himself.
CathMaps+ was founded in July 2013, is based in Israel and just released its official version of the app. It is available for both Android and iOS in English and Spanish, and more languages are coming soon, according to Oberman.
The app has two main features. First, it is a medical management tool that allows patients to keep track of their cardiac medical history, including past attacks and implants, which can then be shared with medical personnel via email or by simply handing over the smartphone for them to read. For a patient who wishes to have a backup plan, CathMaps+ also allows users to share those medical records with a relative or caregiver.
The second main feature addresses the issue of not knowing whether a nearby hospital has a Cath Lab. According to Oberman, only 15 percent of all hospitals in the U.S. have one. CathMaps+ allows users to find the exact location of the nearest hospitals with Cath Labs, using either Waze or Google Maps.
“To date, we’ve mapped 31 countries around the world that have Cath Labs," Oberman said. "The app is very simple; it provides the GPS-based locations of the closest Cath Labs," he said. "This is information that not even the ambulance driver has."
To ensure security of the user’s medical information, CathMaps+ is HIPAA compliant, which means it abides by U.S. laws ensuring proper storage of medical information. CathMaps+ has also worked with consultants and health experts to ensure that they meet all of HIPAA’s standards.
Thousands have already downloaded the app, but Oberman envisions a future when hospitals and health providers all over the world offer the app directly to their cardiac patients, to help them secure some peace of mind.
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