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Apple Watch gets its first FDA-approved accessory to capture EKGs

By Greg S
Nov 30, 2017
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  1. Smartwatches and fitness trackers have not held a great track record for high accuracy sensors but that could soon change. KardiaBand by AliveCor is a new watch band for the Apple Watch that has received FDA approval for EKG capture.

    Utilizing an embedded sensor in the watch band, accurate heart rate signals can be capture in as little as 30 seconds. Installing the Kardia app on an Apple Watch enables a feature called SmartRhythm that uses AI and sensor fusion to look for differences in activity level and heart patterns. A notification is pushed to a user and an EKG is captured if there are unexpected results.

    The primary benefit of an accurate heart monitoring tool is early detection of cardiovascular abnormalities. Atrial fibrillation is one of the leading causes of stroke. It rarely shows any noticeable symptoms but can be diagnosed with proper medical equipment. Nearly two-thirds of strokes could be prevented through early diagnosis of atrial fibrillation with the help of portable, always-on EKG devices.

    KardiaBand is now available for purchase at a retail price of $199. An annual subscription for $99 is required for regular use. Unlimited EKG readings are stored in the cloud and can be easily e-mailed to anyone for further analysis. Additional health data can also be stored and tracked such as weight and medications being taken. Monthly reports on recorded data are mailed to end-users.

    Home health care and the next generation of wearables are slowly evolving for the better. Future smartwatch and fitness tracker developers may begin to seek FDA approval instead of relying on accessories but expect additional costs associated with FDA-cleared gadgets.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Jeff Schmidt

    Jeff Schmidt TS Booster Posts: 82   +56

    Nice idea but $200 for the band and an extra $99 a year subscription seems pricey. But I guess its probably a bargain compared to how much they charge hospitals and patients for the same thing.

    Reminds me of when Nintendo came out with the Wii fit balance board. It was only $100 and did the same thing as piece of equipment a company sold to hospitals for somewhere around $5000
  3. Anton Skryaga

    Anton Skryaga TS Enthusiast Posts: 37   +17

    Looks interesting. And there is mobile (not 'band') version for $99.

    It's not clear for me about subscription.

    From article: An annual subscription for $99 is required for regular use.

    From https://www.alivecor.com/:
    Every purchase of KardiaMobile _includes our basic service free of charge_. Unlock comprehensive control of your heart health with a Premium membership for $99/year.

    Basic services:
    - Take recordings anytime, anywhere
    - Instant EKG analysis
    - Detect normal heart rhythm or AFib
    - Email and print unlimited EKG recordings

    Premium services:
    - Unlimited cloud storage and history
    - Customized monthly reports mailed to your home to share with your doctor3
    - Blood pressure tracking4
    - Tracking weight and medication
    - SmartRhythm monitoring and notifications for Apple Watch

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