- During interview, Vajdic recounts first steps of journey in the United States
- CEO points to key lessons he learned that helped him found HeartBeam
- The company has developed the first and only 3D-vector 12-lead electrocardiogram (“ECG”) platform for heart attack detection anytime, anywhere
Growing up in Yugoslavia (now Serbia) as the only child of a well-known surgeon, HeartBeam (NASDAQ: BEAT) CEO and founder Branislav Vajdic, PhD, felt some pressure to study medicine and follow in his father’s footsteps. One day, at his father’s insistence, Vajdic observed a surgery — and fainted the moment he saw the first drop of blood. While that experience confirmed to Vajdic that medicine was not for him, decades later he is making his mark in the field of the detection and treatment of heart attacks.
“I was always fascinated with electronics; that was clearly my path,” said Vajdic during a recent “Authority Magazine” interview with David Leichner, part of an interview series focused on technology companies working to make a positive social impact (https://nnw.fm/ZDr1C). “As a junior in college, I spent a summer in the United States driving a truck and selling ice cream. I returned home, but in my mind, it was clear that I wanted to return to the U.S.
“And I did,” continued Vajdic. “Twenty-four hours after graduating with my bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, I was on a plane to Minnesota to pursue my graduate studies.” During the interview, Vajdic recounted the steps of his journey in the United States, which included earning a doctorate degree in electrical engineering and being hired by Intel Corporation, where he was part of a small team that developed Intel’s first prototype for Flash memory.
Despite the landmark technology, the project was “put on the shelf” when market research showed that demand for Flash memory was small. Fortunately, almost a year later, Intel CEO Andy Grove restarted the Flash memory project, and the tech became an integral part of digital videos and photography, cell phones, and numerous electronics. Vajdic learned an invaluable lesson: Inertia is the biggest enemy of innovation.
That was only one lesson Vajdic shared during the interview; others included leadership by example, risk as an integral part of progress, and, if you believe in something, going all the way. Those lessons have been key as Vajdic founded a cardiac technology company called HeartBeam.
“At HeartBeam, we are addressing the need to determine if someone who is experiencing signs of a heart attack at home, work, or any place outside of a medical setting is actually experiencing one,” said Vajdic, who lost his own father to a heart attack. “It’s a huge issue. On average, most people wait over three hours before seeking care.
“Why? It is human nature to want to believe that the symptoms will go away, and that chest pain may be due to a pulled muscle or indigestion,” he continued. “Add to that a typically high health insurance deductible for an ER visit and at least a few hours of lost time, and you start to understand why the delay is so significant. That wait time means that the mortality rate goes up by some 40%.”
HeartBeam is developing the first and only 3D-vector ECG platform for heart attack detection anytime, anywhere. By applying a suite of proprietary algorithms to simplify vector electrocardiography (“VECG”), the HeartBeam platform will enable patients and their clinicians to determine quickly and easily if symptoms are due to a heart attack so care can be expedited if required.
HeartBeam has two patented products in development. HeartBeam AIMI(TM) is software for acute care settings that provides a 3D comparison of baseline and symptomatic 12-lead ECG to identify a heart attack more accurately. HeartBeam AIMIGo(TM) is the first and only credit-card-sized, 12-lead output ECG device coupled with a smartphone app and cloud-based diagnostic software system to facilitate remote heart-attack detection. HeartBeam AIMI and AIMIGo have not yet been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) for marketing in the United States or other geographies.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.HeartBeam.com.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to BEAT are available in the company’s newsroom at https://nnw.fm/BEAT
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