This new Apple Watch wrist band will tell you if you have an abnormal heartbeat
A first-of-its-kind, medically approved wristband for the Apple Watch that can help detect abnormal heartbeats and prevent strokes is coming to the UK.
The Kardia Band, developed in the US and already approved by federal health agencies, combines a wristband for Apple’s smartwatch with an app that enables users to monitor their electrocardiogram (ECG) – which tracks electrical activity in the heart – at any time.
The band can detect and alert wearers to any abnormal rhythms in the heart by sending notifications to their smartwatch and phone. The device can also be used to record heart rhythms, with the data then able to be shared with a user’s doctor. It also integrates with the Health app that is built into the iPhone.
A release date – expected to be in the next two months – is yet to be confirmed, but it is set to cost less than £200 once released.
The developers – medical technology firm AliveCor – say it can also be used to track heart conditions such as atrial fibrillation (AF), a leading cause of strokes.
According to NHS Choices, stroke is one of the top five causes of premature death in the UK.
Dr Richard Bogle, a consultant cardiologist at St Helier hospital in Surrey said: “My patients significantly benefit from knowing if their ECG is normal and when they are having an AF episode. Plus, the AliveCor Mobile ECG allows us to determine which medications, habits and activities may be impacting their heart.
“With a more complete view of what is happening with my patients between appointments, we can make better decisions.”
AliveCor has already developed a series of medically approved ECG monitors that fit directly on to a smartphone, however this is the company’s first wearable device.
The firm’s chief executive, Vic Gundotra, said: “Kardia Band for Apple Watch represents both the future of proactive heart health and the introduction of the wearable med-tech category.
“These combined technologies give us the ability to deliver personal reports that provide analysis, insights and actionable advice for the patient and their doctor.”