Heartbeat Elite – May 2018

­Matt, 32
Ottawa, Canada

Some people see obstacles in life as deterrents while others see them as challenges to be overcome. Matt sees heart disease as the latter.

His dad was preparing for surgery as part of a cancer treatment when he found out he had blockages in the arteries of his heart requiring triple bypass surgery – open heart surgery that re-routes blood flow past the blockages – before being able to tolerate the cancer surgery. They weren’t expecting that news since no doctor had mentioned any heart issues previously. It was the first they heard of any problem.

Matt with his dad.

Thankfully, his surgeries went well. The story doesn’t stop there though. Despite living an active lifestyle working out and biking regularly without any symptoms of a heart issue, they were shocked to learn that Matt’s dad went on to develop heart failure. He was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm. An electrocardiogram (EKG) that was done as part of routine testing serendipitously picked up an abnormality requiring an emergency procedure to place a pacemaker. Matt says it was at this time that he had somewhat of an epiphany. If it weren’t for that EKG, his dad could have gone undiagnosed and even died.

With that story in mind, Matt started thinking. What if the wearable technologies that many people have, such as his dad’s Fitbit, could detect and diagnose these types of problems before a standard medical test? With his background in tech and an entrepreneurial, problem-solving mindset, Matt took to the drawing board and formed Healthbrain with his co-founder Shane. He created software, first tested in his dad’s Fitbit, which is being used to help with the early detection of various health issues. Matt hopes that someday his company will allow for more success stories like that of his dad’s.

The most important advice Matt has for keeping healthy is to “keep it simple.” Everyone has stress and “it’s easy to have a million things going on,” he says. Keeping it simple helps him manage this stress and stay healthy. He enjoys playing volleyball and loves to be outside. His dad is doing great now and just got back from travelling.

Thanks, Matt, for being you! Your dedication and commitment to helping others through Healthbrain, which all started with an inspiring story about your family, has earned you Heartbeat Elite status!

Do you have what it takes to be named Heartbeat Elite? Claim your title here.

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