Business Excellence Awards 2019


CardioComm Solutions: Leading innovation in ECG Software and EKG Management

Our society at times seems overly obsessed with healthy living but heart-related ailments seem to be on the rise. According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular diseases account for nearly 800,000 deaths in the US. That’s about 1 of every 3 deaths. Although a lot of research and good work is being done to bring down these stats, there are few organizations that are making as big an impact as CardioComm Solutions.

CardioComm Solutions has been a pioneer in the healthcare industry for more than two decades now.

We had a chat with the company’s Chief Executive Officer Etienne Grima. Here are a few excerpts from the interview:

How did CardioComm Solutions get its start?

CardioComm Solutions has been in business since 1996. It started with a simple goal- to provide real-time monitoring of individuals through devices and software, so that they can be warned if they are at the brink of having a cardiac event. The founder of the company, Mr. William Smith, used the following analogy: “You’re walking down the street and an ambulance pulls up next to you, and the driver says ‘Hey! Get in! You’re about to have a heart attack!” This kind of proactive and preventive philosophy is what CardioComm Solutions has offered in all the technologies it has developed and deployed since its inception.

You took over the position of CEO in 2010. What has your job entailed as the Chief Executive Officer?

Since joining the company approximately 10 years ago, my job has been to help redefine the company’s products and offerings to be more competitive in the evolving remote health monitoring markets. The emphasis has been on supporting new operating systems, especially with the advent of more personalized medicine being adopted by the consumer and healthcare markets through the use of mobile devices.

What products and services do you offer at CardioComm Solutions?

CardioComm Solutions has four different revenue generating business activities. The first is the sale of software to hospitals and physician groups for monitoring people as they go about their daily lives. This is called Ambulatory ECG monitoring. The software we’ve developed over the past 20 years called GEMS is used by healthcare professionals across the English-speaking world.

Second is the sale of third-party companies’ hardware that is compatible with CardioComm Solutions’ software. The third is the sale of ECG reading services to support the sales of its consumer-use ECG devices such as the HeartCheck ECG PEN device- the first device cleared for consumer sales in Canada and the U.S without the need of a prescription from a physician. CardioComm Solutions predates Apple in this accomplishment by seven years!

Fourth is the sale of customized software solutions. The company has supported several remote patient monitoring groups in Europe and the United States to enable their telemedicine platforms to manage ECG communication and data transfer complexities through custom cloud solutions.

What distinguishes you from your competitors and how do you utilize this to your advantage?

We are a unique global provider with over two decades of hospital and bench experience. Our software has been cleared as a medical device solution and is device-agnostic, this sets us apart. In addition, we can manage ECGs from 30 seconds to 30 days. We can also connect consumer or hospital prescribed devices onto the same software platforms.

Could you tell us about your most memorable moment at CardioComm Solutions?

My most memorable business experience at CardioComm Solutions came when the HeartCheck Handheld ECG device was cleared by the FDA in 2012. This provides CardioComm the distinction of being the first company ever to have approval to sell an ECG monitoring and ECG reporting device and software directly to consumers in North America. Since then our achievement has paved the way for other organizations to advance consumer health offerings.

What developments or changes have the biggest impact on your business and industry over the coming year?

Over the next few years, the largest pressures influencing our business will be changes related to how big data is managed. Larger cloud managed solutions will come into play which will result in departures of many technologies that were relied upon historically by hospitals and large organizations. Changes in 2G and 4G are causing disruptions in the provision of wireless medical devices. As a software company, our goal is to ensure that hardware manufacturers hold onto their market share so that they can focus on their responsibility of meeting challenges related to hardware technology.

Lastly, how does it feel to have won this award?

We’re happy to be recognized by an independent group for the dedication to our customers that we have put in over the years. We are a small company and we work hard to be innovators. We are hopeful that this award will help other organizations see the strengths of CardioComm Solutions and perhaps they could work with us to help them meet their objectives pertaining to improving patient care.

Leader extraordinaire

Etienne Grima, CEO

Mr. Grima has over 22 years of experience in basic and clinical research, business development and strengthening corporate performance. He joined the board of Directors of CardioComm Solutions in December 2006. In May 2010, he accepted the position of CEO at the company.

Mr. Grima has held the position of COO and Financial Officer for the Canadian Heart Research Centre (CHRC) since its start in 1996. Prior to his stint at CHRC, he managed the St. Michael’s Hospital (SMH) Health Sciences Research Centre in Toronto. He guided SMH into becoming the fastest growing University of Toronto affiliated research center between 1994 and 1997. Here, he was the signing officer on 350 externally funded clinical and basic research laboratories.

Mr. Grima has a Masters degree from the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Physiology, Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative, University of Toronto. Here, he also served as a peer reviewer for research publications and grant applications.

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