A long while back, we read about how Apple will eventually utilise the wrist bands to empower their wearables to take on more functions that it presently possibly can. That time has come with the arrival of AliveCor’s Kardiaband. ($199)
While not a direct product by Apple, it does signal the reality of multi feature wrist bands that work in tandem with the Apple Watch.
About 2 years back, I purchased AliveCor’s Kardia; an FDA cleared EKG monitor that is highly portable. Now because the accompanying mobile app wasn’t available in Singapore, it still isn’t, I had to jump through some hoops to get a taste of this EKG monitor. I was impressed with its capabilities even then.
Fast forward 2 years and AliveCor is now the first company globally to allows users to take a 30 second EKG right on the wrist with a FDA cleared Apple Watch medical device accessory.The $199 Kardiaband watch strap allows users to take EKG conveniently without huge cumbersome equipment.
Along with the Kardiaband is the announcement of the SmartRhythm system – employing AI to evaluate your heart rate and activity data gathered from the Apple Watch in order to predict HR pattern. If evaluated HR differs from that predicted by the neural network, the user would be asked to take an EKG with the Kardiaband. SmartRhythm requires a premium subscription which is available in select countries only; Singapore not being one of them.
“Today, EKGs are available only in offices and hospitals, using complex equipment, and usually only after a life threatening event, for example a stroke. With an EKG device on the wrist, AFib can be detected wherever the patient is, 24 hours a day. In randomized research trials, KardiaMobile, the first AliveCor EKG device, proved to be superior to routine care provided by physicians. Today, KardiaBand is a giant leap in personalized health care” said Dr. Ronald P. Karlsberg, MD FACC, Board Certified Cardiologist and Clinical Professor of Medicine, Cedars Sinai Heart Institute and David Geffen School of Medicine UCLA.
In just 3-5 short years, we’ve seen the proliferation of optical heart rate sensors on wrist worn wearables. Naysayers may expound the benefits of chest strap HR monitors over optical HR sensors or cumbersome medical grade EKG over portable one’s such as Kardia’s in this case. The fact remains that getting a person to monitor and take charge of his or her own health has unrivaled benefits over the once a year medical at the doctor’s.
With the launch of the Apple Heart Study, the availability of the FDA cleared Kardiaband, along with numerous other apps that track and record user physical activity levels, the Apple Watch has entrenched itself firming in the wearable scene.
Source: Alive Cor