Grab the Apple Watch’s stem and capture an ECG at 30 seconds
Apple’s first Watch delivered with 2 optical heartbeat sensors, chiefly for tracking the wearer’s heartbeat during exercise. Later models included resting heart rate monitoring and alerts, however, the device was still basically meant for use with fitness applications. A year before, the company dipped a wrist into the medical pool, launching a study with Stanford to use the detectors to collect information on irregular heart rhythms and notify users that might be needing episodes of atrial fibrillation, implying they contact their physicians for follow-up tests–such as a electrocardiogram (ECG).
Now, Apple announced it has been building the ability to generate ECGs to its own watch. The new Apple Watch Series 4 includes electrodes on the back of the watch (in which it touches the wrist) and onto the watch stem. To take an ECG, the person wearing the watch launches the app, then touches the watch stem with a finger for 30 minutes. (Placing among those electrodes on the stem addresses you challenge wearable electrocardiographs have wrestled with–electrodes that are too close together don’t get a good signal.)
The watch then displays its own interpretation of the ECG–possibly a normal rhythm or atrial fibrillation; the full ECG (these tracings we’re acquainted with) could be saved as a PDF on the consumer’s iPhone and delivered to a doctor for additional interpretation.
Williams brought American Heart Association president Ivor Benjamin to the stage for an endorsement. Benjamin said,”Capturing heart rate data in real time is altering way we practice medicine. Individuals frequently report symptoms that are absent during medical visits. The ability to get health data on demand is sport altering .”
Apple’s Series 4 Watches with built in ECG capability will market from US $399 to $499, depending on other characteristics.