The next significant development in the self-monitoring arena is going to deal with service, not hardware. What Alivecor is doing with their iphone ECG device presages what other companies will be doing with their monitoring devices in the near future.

Alivecor has added a service whereby a person’s ECG can be read and interpreted by an expert – either by a U.S.-based cardiac technician or by a board-certified cardiologist. By combining expert analysis with real-time monitoring devices, companies will increase the usefulness and value of the devices they offer, not to mention obtaining an additional revenue stream. Rather than simply tracking data, users will get advice on what to do with the data so that they can improve their health.

Look for services like Alivecor’s to be introduced by other companies in the self-monitoring marketplace.