Seven Peaks Insights

The IoT sensors for healthcare that saved my life

The remarkable story of Rune Fensli



Rune Fensli has worked in the technology and health research industries all his life. He is also a professor of e-health at The University of Agder (UiA), Norway. This is the story of Rune Fensli and how inventing the IoT healthcare monitoring system saved his own life.

For the past three years, Prof. Fensli has been working on this specific product; being the main founder and the ‘brains’ behind the technology of the development of this unique heart sensor made to prevent strokes.

The heart sensor can detect heart fibrillation at an early stage, so that strokes can be prevented.

Part of the job has been to test the products, it was therefore good that Prof. Fensli himself also tested the heart sensor before it came out onto the market.

The sensor has been named ECG 247, it is a small computer that attaches to the chest like a patch. The heart rate measurement is sent continuously to the application on the smartphone – If irregularities occur, you will be notified immediately.

It suddenly got to Prof. Fensli.

After having tested the heart sensor this spring, Prof. Fensli got some unusual results.

“At first I just thought, Yes, it worked! But then I realized that it was not so good that it was my heart that was experiencing issues”, says Prof. Fensli.

Then, the road to the operating table was short. A clogged blood vessel was then blocked.

“If I had not discovered it, it would probably have developed into a serious heart attack. It’s pretty amazing to think about the fact that my own invention has saved my life”, he says.

Slobodan Calic, the chief physician at Sørlandet Hospital Arendal, said that Prof. Fensli’s arrhythmia was one of the examples that could have led to cardiac arrest and death.

“He had discovered an arrhythmia with his product that could have been very dangerous and have the potential to kill patients”, says Calic – who operated on Prof. Fensli himself.

The high ranked doctors believe that the heart sensor is a great way to combine the use of technology and science to save lives through faster treatment of more patients.

Tord Ytterdahl, the general manager of the company Appsens, developed this heart sensor in collaboration with UiA and Sørlandet Hospital Arendal.

“What Rune experienced is thought-provoking, and a good example that many strokes and deaths can be avoided with better technology”, says Ytterdahl.

He further quoted that 150,000 people in Norway have heart fibrillation or arrhythmia (arrhythmias in the heart). Heart fibrillation is the most common form of arrhythmia.

“50,000 people with heart fibrillation are not aware of this because they have no symptoms. At the moment, there is no product with the right technology that captures the large group of people who have this”, says Ytterdahl.

The ECG247 heart sensor was launched last week. The developers focused mainly on the professional market for GPs and cardiologists. But, the sensor will also soon be available in pharmacies to help more people in need.

Read our case study for IoT.


The IoT healthcare monitoring system

The Internet of Things is simply “A network of Internet connected objects able to collect and exchange data”. It is commonly abbreviated as IoT. IoT sensors for healthcare are now being touted as the next big development in a connected world.

Source: PLM Nordic



To sum up, the goal behind IoT sensors for healthcare, and IoT in general, is to have devices (such as mobile phones, tablets, and laptops) reporting in real-time to improve the efficiency in bringing important information and data to surface more quickly as compared to systems depending on manual human inputs.

Do you need help with your next digital product?
Get in touch with us to learn how we can help you
Get In Touch