Is the ‘Google Pill’ the only hope for heart disease detection?

There has been a great deal of buzz around Google’s announcement of their plan to develop a “pill” that will circulate in the blood stream to detect early forms of cancer and give warning signs about impending cardiac complications.  Thissounds like science fiction, but who knows?  We certainly wish them the best success in this endeavor.

But do we really need to wait for these futuristic projects to be able to detect heart disease early?  I wrote an Op Ed for the San Jose Mercury News which you may find informative.

The new A.H.A. scientific statement about the 12-lead ECG as a screening tool for youth and young adults

The American Heart Association recently published an excellent document that very comprehensively examines the  12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) as a tool to screen populations of youth and young adults (age range 12-25).

This will be a very useful reference document for years to come.  It covers medical, technical, logistical, socioeconomic, legal, and ethical aspects of screening in great detail, and lists a vast number of references.

The final recommendation against endorsing the use of the ECG for “mandatory and universal mass screening” is unsurprising, and was anticipated by most attendees of the recent Sports and Exercise Cardiology Summit.Read more