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Q &A with Safe Heart

by Astrid Paris

Local startup Safe Heart develops innovative wellness applications and accessories, like their new iOximeter (@ioximeter), which is a pulse oximeter for smart phones. It measures a person’s pulse rate and blood oxygen saturation, working on both Android and iOS platforms. In 2013, the iOximeter was a semi-finalist in the Engadget Insert Coin: New Challengers competition.

We checked in with with the owners (who happen to be cousins!) Yale Zhang and Ivan Zhang to find out more about the iOximeter and how it came to be.

Your Pitch:
In the future, all of your vital signs will be available to you everywhere you go. The aim of Safe Heart is to make that future a reality by creating affordable monitoring equipment for different vital signs. Our first product is the iOximeter. It’s a device that plugs into your Android or iOs smartphone and measures your blood oxygen saturation and heart rate. It also has alarms and data recording capabilities. The data recorded by the iOximeter software will eventually be able to be uploaded to cloud platforms including Microsoft HealthVault. We have several other monitoring products that we are working on, to be released at one new product per year.

Yale Zhang, Ivan Zhang

Atlanta offers a great startup community, a great number of people in the healthcare and IT industry. The large number of health- and medicine-related trade shows means less travel and more networking opportunities. The best part about Atlanta is the low cost of living, allowing us to take more risks and try more things than our competitors.


2006, originally as a eBook reader development company, pivoted in 2010 to mobile health devices

Funded or bootstrapped:

Price of Services:
iOximeter Device is available on our crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo for $59 but will retail for $79 after the campaign is over.

What Customers Get:
The iOximeter device in retail packaging. To get the app for your phone, just search for “iOximeter” on the Google Play Store or App Store. The app will continue to have new features released every quarter, so unlike fixed standalone devices, the iOximeter user experience will get better over time.

How’d You Get The Idea For It:
In 2009, after coming back from a medical device show, we saw how there were some companies that started to make digital scales that worked via bluetooth with smartphones. It was the first convergent product for smartphones. It was shortly thereafter that we transitioned the company away from eBook readers (a market now entirely dominated by Amazon) to digital health devices.

[Photo Credit: Whitlock/Hypepotamus]

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