In this blog, Sky Labs Chief Executive Officer and chairman Jack Lee explains how his own experiences have been a driving factor in creating the CART-I smart ring to help better detect Atrial Fibrillation.
When he was younger, Jack Lee found himself in hospital with symptoms that indicated there may be evidence of arrhythmia, which indicates a possible abnormality of the heart’s natural rhythm.
“I spent one night in the emergency room but as it turned out, I wasn’t diagnosed with arrhythmia and I was subsequently discharged from the hospital,” he said.
“But because the symptoms occurred sporadically, they can be difficult to detect and diagnose.”
This, explained the Sky Labs Chief Executive Officer, is a particularly important point because the symptoms of conditions such as Atrial Fibrillation (AF) can be intermittent, may not occur continuously, and are different in different people.
“I realised there was a need for reliable, remote, and continuous monitoring through a smart device, such as the CART-I,” he said.
This was a key motivation which effectively saw him come up with the business idea of the CART-I smart ring.
It is a continuous monitoring device, essential for chronic disease management, and aims to transform conventional hospital-centric care into patent-centric care.
CART-I can receive daily patient data at any time and also has good signal quality compared to any other type of wearable device.
“As a result, it can record the heart rate constantly and accurately, and store and transmit data, and is a good system for patients to communicate their data with doctors and hospitals,” he added.
As Chief Executive Officer at Sky Labs, he has been responsible for developing the cardiac tracker CART-I to diagnose AF and heart diseases in daily life.
“I have 15 years of experience developing signal processing systems to create the best healthcare systems and services and have brought all of that to this product,” said Jack.
Prior to founding Sky Labs, he was a senior R&D engineer at Samsung Electronics headquarters, leading the development of the 5G cellular communication technology. He also holds a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).
At college, he studied communication and signal processing, and it was through the application of those technologies that he found he could imagine the future of healthcare.
He reflects how he had CART-I in mind when he set up the company in 2015, which now employs around 67 people.
Jack said: “I knew from my experience in education that I could create the CART-I device and with my professional experience I felt we could find new ways to manipulate important human data.
“The heart is such a vital organ that we have to take very good care of it; prevention and monitoring is the way to do that.
“This type of device will be needed to monitor our own vital signals and is an important way to monitor ourselves without the need for any user intervention.”
As a result, it has a crucial role to play in helping with the detection of AF.
CART-I is manufactured in Korea and harnesses photoplethysmography (PPG) technology.
PPG has been explored for almost a century, but it is only recently that it has seen a greater application in smart devices.
PPG is most commonly used in pulse oximetry in clinical settings for measuring oxygen saturation but as the technology becomes more readily available, and inexpensive, the integration into portable devices has risen significantly.
CART-I is the world’s first ring-type smart wearable heart rhythm monitoring medical device and it provides PPG signals to measure heart rate to help spot potential AF.
It does this by 24/7 screening of the bloodstream through the user’s finger to measure irregular pulse waves, and then transmits the data to a cloud platform where AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology detects and analyses AF.
The smart ring also uses electrocardiogram signals to provide additional information to the user’s doctor.