Gizmos Topic of the Week

Coala: An Eko Duo killer?

Coala Life is a Swedish medical technology and life science company that focuses on heart diagnostics and digital health. Their latest product is the Coala. Its description may sound familiar – single-lead ECG and stethoscope combined in a single device. Sound familiar? The Coala has a direct competitor we have previously reviewed – the Eko Duo. Although the Swedish firm is not enitrely forthcoming with details about its device, we sat down and examined everything we know about both ECG/steth combos.

Coala vs Eko Duo: Feature-complete

Both “super-steths” boast high-fi auscultation and low-noise ECG signals. The Coala Heart Monitor has received FDA approval for remote heart and lung physician auscultation, while the Duo’s website is filled with positive reviews by physicians, even those with hearing problems. The ability to save and share sound clips and ECG strips is present in both devices.

Same device – different marketing

Although both devices may seem functionally identical, their marketing positions them differently in the market. While the Eko Duo wants to pass as the ultimate stethoscope, the Coala takes a patient-centric approach. With the physical exam going the way of the dodo, the Swedish firm was smart. They have marketed the Coala Heart Monitor as the ultimate home monitoring device, enabling remote physical exams in the age of COVID-19.

The road forward

Both firms are not content with the niche each device has settled on – the Coala wants to see in-hospital use, while the Eko Duo is already offering a Pro Telehealth plan – at an astounding $200 per month. The Coala website is not exactly replete with information, as crucial information such as pricing is missing.

As far as we can tell, both devices are on equal footing hardware-wise. Their price, as well as the quality and ease-of-use of accompanying software is what will decide which super-steth makes it on top. We’ll keep you posted.

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