Your New Heart Monitor is an Apple Watch. Really.

By

Looking at a new smartwatch or fitness wearable for the holidays? If you are concerned about your heart health due to family history or reason, Apple and its friends offer several options to make the Apple Watch as a go-to solution this season.

Partnering with Stanford Medicine, Apple launched the Apple Heart Study app last week, a first-time research study by the company using the Apple Watch heart rate sensor to collect data on heart rhythms and notify users who may have potential problems.  Atrial fibrillation (AFib) -- irregular heart beat --  is the leading cause of strokes, responsible for around 130,000 deaths a year in the U.S. and 750,000 hospitalizations. Many people don't experience obvious AFib symptoms until they end up in the emergency room, so the Apple Watch plus the Heart Study app could provide a critical early heads-up before a more serious incident occurs.

The Apple Watch uses optical sensors to collect blood flow information from four distinct points on the wrist. Data is processed and fed into an Apple Heart Study app to identify irregular heart rhythm, such as a rapid jump in rate when not exercising.  People participating in the study will get a notification of irregular activity on their AppleWatch and iPhone, a free consult with a doctor and an electrocardiogram (ECG) patch for additional monitoring. The heart app is free and available for anyone 22 years or older and has an Apple Watch Series 1 or later.

Other studies and devices are complementing Apple's efforts. Health app start-up Cardiogram and the UCSF Health announced some results of its AFib study in May of this year, using heart rate sensor data collected from Apple Watch and Android Wear wearables. Using AI machine learning to crunch collected data, the Apple Watch is about 97 percent accurate in detecting the most common type of AFib using Cardiogram.

Skeptics and doctors might want more than a smartwatch warning before someone running into the ER, such an electrocardiogram (EKG) to provide additional data.   AliveCor's KardiaBand recently received FDA clearance in the U.S. KardiaBand, a wristband with an EKG sensor,  pairs up with the Apple Watch and AliveCor's app to  enable people to take a 30 second EKG, with results showing up on the Apple Watch display.  AliveCor's app also has an AI-powered AFib monitor to alert a wearer of irregular heart rate, with the EKG providing immediate readings outside of the doctor's office or the ER.

KardiaBand lists at $199.00 and requires a subscription into AliveCor's premium service at $99 per year. The system includes heart alert notifications on the Apple Watch; unlimited EKG recordings; automatic detection of AFib and normal heart rhythm; unlimited ability to email EKG readings to anyone through email; unlimited cloud storage and reporting of all EKGs taken; plus weight tracking, medicine tracking, and a monthly paper report on EKG readings.




Edited by Mandi Nowitz

Contributing Editor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Is Your Home Network Safe from Hackers?

By: Special Guest    8/7/2020

You probably have more devices connected to your home network every year -- TVs, robot vacuums, smart home devices, smart lights, smart thermostats, a…

Read More

Cybersecurity must be at the centre of your cloud strategy

By: Special Guest    8/7/2020

NZ is becoming increasingly aware of the risks from cyber attacks. The security alliance with Five Eyes and protection from multinational cybersecurit…

Read More

Turning Data into Stories with Natural Language Generation

By: Erik Linask    7/29/2020

Arria's NLG technology takes the burden of storytelling from data analysts by using artificial intelligence to turn data into narrative.

Read More

Benefits of using bitcoins for business

By: Special Guest    7/29/2020

Bitcoin is a digital cryptocurrency that is used by many people to make payments. Indeed, online retail stores are accepting bitcoins as a mode of pay…

Read More

Intelligent Defect Inspection: How Computer Vision Enhances Quality Control

By: Special Guest    7/28/2020

Business competition pressures manufacturers to produce faster, reduce expenses, and increase efficiencies. But all these requirements run into the qu…

Read More