Apple Watch will reportedly get an integrated EKG heart reader

22 December, 2017, 02:14 | Author: Elena Summers
  • Apple Credit Apple Heart Study app

On the Apple Watch, the EKG monitor would be activated by squeezing the Watch's frame with two fingers.

As part of this vision, a new report suggests that the company is looking to incorporate an EKG sensor with the watch. The advanced Apple Watch would reportedly require the user to grip the outside of the Apple Watch, which would send an electrical current through the body to accurately monitor the heart's condition. Currently, the wearable sports a heart rate monitor that uses photodiode sensors and LEDs to track the flow of blood through the skin. Such conditions can increase the risk of strokes and heart failure and develop in about one-quarter of people over 40, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hence, the tests ability to identify potential abnormalities is limited.

Apple is working on new technology for the Apple Watch that would let the device monitor a wearer's heart similar to a clinical-grade electrocardiogram, Bloomberg's Alex Webb reports.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Ethan Weiss, a cardiologist at the University of California, says that even though there is role for wearable EKG devices, there are only recommended for patients who are already displaying symptoms.

Apple's reported method for the EKG-a test of the heart's electrical activity-is straightforward. With a few more years, it's quite likely that the Apple Watch will have a suite of third-party medical companions, transforming its utility with little effort on Apple's end.

The health industry's size has made it attractive for tech giants seeking new growth markets.

"ECGs are so cheap to manufacture that I have to believe they'll become ubiquitous", said Brandon Ballinger, cofounder of Cardiogram Inc., which makes an app that uses heart-rate data from the Apple Watch.

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