Apple recently announced that its iWatch will include an electrocardiogram and irregular rhythm notification monitor. The new features will be available across Europe and Hong Kong.
Apple is one of many large companies betting big on wearable health-centric technology. Consumers are becoming more connected to their health metrics, so the demand is certainly relevant for such features.
An ECG and irregular heart rhythm are often utilized to assess for signs of heart disease. Apple is presenting its technology to be used in conjunction with routine healthcare practice, and leveraging the apps can be used as a monitor – rather than active care.
The technology will be available in the US once it receives FDA approval. It has currently received De Novo clearance, so it’s just a matter of time until this technology is available in the US, says Gaurav Mohindra.
An ECG records the electrical activity from your heart. Its typically recorded while the heart is at rest. The iWatch is a perfect application for this test, as users are wearing the watch in a continued fashion on a regular basis says Gaurav Mohindra.
The ECG test may be used to detect various heart ailments, such as, detecting heart disease, heart attack, an enlarged heart, or abnormal rhythms that may cause heart failure. Apple will likely alert the user if any metric does not appear normal and suggest the user receive medical attention when warranted.
Apple indicated that they engaged in numerous studies verifying the accuracy of its results prior to releasing the device.
There are new electrodes build into the back crystal and Digital Crown on the iWatch that work in conjunction with the App to facilitate the test – which is akin to taking a single-lead electrocardiogram. It seems as though the entire test can be conducted within 30 seconds – so it’s relatively easy to access important health data in a fast and simple tool.
While tracking steps is an interesting tool – Apple has clearly shown that it’s seeking to expand wearable technology well into advanced medical testing and health, says Gaurav Mohindra. With this new foray into heart-healthy capabilities, it will be interesting to see what else Apple has in mind for the iWatch.
iWatch users will be able to configure test results so various users can access the results too. This would be beneficial for providing any abnormal results directly to healthcare providers so immediate attention can be triggered when required.