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Reacting fast to save lives with near real-time cardiac monitoring in the IBM Cloud

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COPCAR cardiac monitorAround the world, heart attacks and strokes represent two of the leading causes of death. Often, they strike with no apparent warning, and if patients don’t make it to a hospital quickly, the prospects of their survival plunge.

At Control de Pacientes de Alto Riesgo (COPCAR), or in English, Monitoring for High-Risk Patients, the goal is to change all of that. An innovative startup based in Spain, we are harnessing the latest developments in wearable technology to build cardiac sensors that are lightweight, accurate and portable.

Changing lives with technology

By connecting wearable sensors to the COPCAR app on a high-risk patient’s smartphone, the company analyzes heart rate and heart rhythm data in real time for anomalies that could indicate a cardiac disorder. If necessary, a monitoring physician can summon emergency services to the patient’s GPS location day or night, 87 percent faster than the national average. To read the full story now, check out the IBM case study.

COPCAR had the analytics algorithms and the sensor technology. We had even validated our predictive technology with some of the world’s leading medical universities. What we were missing was an enterprise-class platform to run on.

Finding a platform for growth

While COPCAR’s on-premises infrastructure had been sufficient for small-scale development and testing, the company’s leaders knew they needed to scale quickly as they began to grow the business and add patients to its monitoring platform. Because lives hung in the balance, COPCAR needed the assurance that its servers would be available at all times.

The IBM Cloud provided exactly what COPCAR was looking for. By choosing IBM Cloud Virtual Servers, COPCAR gained a robust high-availability architecture. This was crucial, as COPCAR needed to demonstrate to its regulators that the server platform could support around-the-clock monitoring for high-risk patients, something that IBM worked closely with COPCAR to prove.

Delivering high availability for critical services

Today, COPCAR runs its life-saving solution on two IBM Cloud Virtual Servers. The platform is already helping the company reveal previously hidden cardiac conditions in some of its patients, empowering physicians to adapt their treatments and improve patients’ quality of life. In one case, a patient even reported that COPCAR’s diagnostic capabilities helped identify the need for a life-saving medical procedure.

So, what does the future hold for COPCAR? As well as continuing to scale the IBM Cloud platform to keep up with growth in Spain and beyond, the company is interested in using artificial intelligence from IBM Watson to build a customer-support chatbot. The aim is to make it easier for patients to use their wearable sensors effectively, and get answers to common practical questions without calling the company’s help desk.

To get more insight into COPCAR’s journey with the IBM Cloud, read the IBM case study.

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