The Apple Watch could soon be supercharged with the data doctor’s need to save lives, thanks to a band for Cupertino’s smartwatch that collects information needed for diagnosing heart issues.
Californian Private medical firm AliveCor has created the KardiaBand, which is loaded with sensors that collect the data needed to perform a electrocardiogram (EKM) test.
While the optical heart rate sensor found in the Apple Watch’s main body can help detect some heart problems, EKM tests require more in-depth data to discover any underlying heart problems.
Sensor-equipped metal contacts on the KardiaBand help collect that medical-grade information within 30 seconds of a wearer placing their fingers on them.
From there, a feature called SmartRhythum uses machine learning algorithms that run locally on the Apple Watch to detect heart problems, such as abnormal sinus hear rhythms, and allow that EKM data to be emailed to a doctor or recommend the wearer goes and gets a full EKM test.
“We were able to run a deep neural network on the Apple Watch and keep it to 14 hours of battery life on the new Series 3 Watch,” AliveCor CEO Vic Gundotra told Business Insider. “Apple deserves kudos for building such a platform that allows us — I mean, I think we are the most advanced app ever built for the Apple Watch. “
Gundotra claimed the KardiaBand is the first ever accessory for a consumer wearable device that has received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration as a device suitable for medical use, rather than just act as an aid to wellness.
The KardiaBand is available on AliveCore’s website and through Amazon and will set buyer back by $200, around £150, and can be slotted into any Apple Watch, though the improvements made with the Apple Watch Series 3 make it the best bet.
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There’s a good chance the KardiaBand has started the ball rolling on wearables that have the standards needed for collecting data that can be legitimately used by clinicians. And that could result in consumer tech that ends up saving lives.
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