College of Liberal Arts

Psychology Professor Partners with Medical Technology Company in Developing Nation’s First Handheld ECG Machine

Wed, Apr 30, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas – Robert Josephs, professor of psychology and neuroscience at The University of Texas at Austin, has partnered with CardioComm Solutions Inc., a Canada-based electrocardiogram (ECG) manufacturer that has developed North America’s first and only FDA-approved handheld ECG device. 

In exchange for partnering with Josephs’ Social Neuroendrocrinology Laboratory, the company is supplying the lab with several different ECG devices, which will be used to assess cardiac abnormalities in potential research subjects. Once the data are imported to the company’s file management software, each of the recordings is sent to a board-certified cardiologist for analysis. 

The compact yet accurate ECG device is a highly cost-effective tool that is suitable for clinical and basic scientific applications, Josephs says.

“The ECG is a very important piece of our research puzzle,” Josephs says. “It will enable us to quickly and accurately identify people who are at risk for potentially life-threatening effects from the drugs that we’re using in our study.”

Josephs is hopeful that this new device will play a key role in his drug trials, which are designed to shed new light on the processes underlying such mental health disorders as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and psychopathy.

“Thanks in large part to the generosity and foresight of CardioComm Solutions, funding agencies – including UT Austin – are benefiting by having the considerable costs associated with ECG recording and analysis absorbed by CardioComm” Josephs says. “In these lean times, research dollars are few and far between, and we need to seek out creative solutions. I’m very grateful to have this partnership because it helps us do our research on a shoestring budget.” 

For more information, contact: Jessica Sinn, Office of Public Affairs, College of Liberal Arts,, 512-471-2404; Robert Josephs, Department of Psychology,, 512-471-9788

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