Apple Working on EKG Heart Monitor for Future Apple Watch Models

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 21, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Future Apple Watch models could include a sensor that allows for continuous electrocardiograph monitoring to better detect serious heart conditions, reports Bloomberg.

    Apple is said to be testing a version of the Apple Watch that records the electrical activity of the heart using two fingers on either side of the device, a test that is known as an electrocardiogram or EKG/ECG. With an EKG, sensors detect electrical changes in the skin caused by the rhythm of your heart beat.

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    EKGs today are most often done in medical offices and hospitals, but there are some continuous-wear EKG monitors on the market for those who need more frequent monitoring. With the ability to detect irregular heart beats and other oddities, the Apple Watch would be able to better predict and monitor serious heart conditions. Such functionality has the potential to allow people to catch and treat heart problems early.

    Bloomberg says development is ongoing on the EKG functionality for the Apple Watch, and Apple could still decide to scrap it. With the first Apple Watch, Apple reportedly dropped several sensors because they weren't accurate enough.

    Apple has taken a deep interest in heart health in recent months, and in November launched a ResearchKit-based Apple Heart Study app in partnership with Stanford University's School of Medicine. The aim of the study is to determine whether the existing heart rate monitoring functionality of the Apple Watch can accurately detect irregular heart rhythms.

    It's not clear if adding EKG functionality to the Apple Watch would require Apple to get FDA approval. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said in the past that he doesn't want to get the FDA involved with the Apple Watch, but Apple is participating in a pilot program for faster approval of digital health tools.

    Just this past November, the FDA approved the EKG Kardia Band from AliveCor, the first official medical-grade accessory designed for the Apple Watch.

    Article Link: Apple Working on EKG Heart Monitor for Future Apple Watch Models
     
  2. DJArie macrumors newbie

    DJArie

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    --- Post Merged, Dec 21, 2017 ---
    I'm seriously tempted to buy this next one as a medical condition I thought was normal I discovered isn't, and I want to track it and this addition would do precisely that.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 21, 2017 ---
    The design looks fine to me.
     
  3. Dave245 macrumors 603

    Dave245

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    This would be awesome if true, doubt it would be for at least a couple of years yet tho.
     
  4. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

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    But three generations of the same design gets old. At the very least they should tweak it.
     
  5. BigDO macrumors 6502a

    BigDO

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    Will it throttle down your heart if it detects that it's running at less than 80% capacity?
     
  6. DJArie macrumors newbie

    DJArie

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    Eh. 3% design change. I can do without that. It's already to me a much better design than the Android based products out there.
     
  7. Tech198, Dec 21, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017

    Tech198 macrumors G5

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    This would be good, however i think Apple is trusting to much of their technology work to undermine privacy.

    Continuous is better, and therefore, more accurate, but Apple favors that over anything else.

    FYI,, ick.. hate that band :)
     
  8. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #9
    I thought people were pissed at Apple for a "form over function" approach, yet you are arguing to change the form for purely superficial reasons...
     
  9. EdT macrumors 65816

    EdT

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    #10
    I would prefer that they make it more useful first. The design is ok, and it will be features like health monitoring that entice people to spend $300-600 for what otherwise is a fancy watch. But for people with heart conditions or diabetes, if they get the blood sugar monitoring reliable, then the health benefits would justify that cost or more pretty quickly, ignoring anything else the Watch does.
     
  10. UnionVGF macrumors 6502a

    UnionVGF

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    Will Apple turn off a few of my heart chambers if the battery in the watch goes below 90% functionality?
     
  11. alwaysbeincontact macrumors regular

    alwaysbeincontact

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  12. mcdspncr macrumors regular

    mcdspncr

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    It’s pretty clear that adding an EKG would require FDA approval...
    Also, as most users would not have the training to interpret their EKG there would have to be some sort of software analysis. Judging by the expensive hospital ekgs I use, software analysis is very frequently inferior or downright wrong compared to a well trained physician’s interpretation. I’m not saying software couldn’t do it, but it currently isn’t good enough. And I’m not aware of Apple running large trials to leapfrog past the current industry leaders in software based EKG analysis. Perhaps users could pay for a subscription to a remote telemetry service, although even this would result in a huge number of false positives.

    Anyways, personally I’d love my Apple Watch to have an ekg (and continuous glucose monitoring). Can’t wait to see what they come up with.
     
  13. DotCom2, Dec 21, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017

    DotCom2 macrumors 68040

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    #15
    I liked the idea that was rumored a while back that the Bands would be able to do this sort of stuff.
    I wish that would be true. Cheaper to buy more bands than watches me thinks.
     
  14. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    #16
    Don't worry, they'll switch the red color on the crown to blue or jet black or newborn star white or something for a completely new look that will be obvious to all of your friends that you have the latest version.
     
  15. Tech198 macrumors G5

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    #17
    A step in the right direction at least.... But , they can be like any other feature Apple add's..

    It will be broken when its out initially, but they can improve on it. Then will see the how far it goes.
     
  16. ajguckian macrumors member

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    #18
    This type of upgrade will be what gets me to buy my next watch. Hope they keep working on adding things of this nature.
     
  17. cmChimera macrumors 68040

    cmChimera

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  18. Rogifan macrumors Core

    Rogifan

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    Why does it need a redesign?
     
  19. centauratlas, Dec 21, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017

    centauratlas macrumors 6502a

    centauratlas

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    #21
    If this really was a "continuous electrocardiograph" it would be a game changer, but it measures "electrical activity of the heart using two fingers on either side of the device." Maybe they have other versions that don't require that which would be really cool, but if you have to do this, it can't be continuous because no one will be doing that continuously.

    Like Kardia has done, putting the functionality in the band would be a smart move so that once the band is approved, it doesn't impact the watch updates. Kardia has some problems though - it isn't continuous either, and it (iirc) requires a subscription for many of the features.

    Realtime medical tracking enables many things, let's hope the FDA's red tape doesn't kill it or delay it very long. Perhaps one band on one side with the watch and something else (a 2nd band?) on the other wrist or elsewhere.
     
  20. citysnaps macrumors 68040

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    #22
    "And I’m not aware of Apple running large trials to leapfrog past the current industry leaders in software based EKG analysis."

    I have a relative who is currently a part of such a large Apple trial.
     
  21. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

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    #23
    It doesn’t, but neither did the iPhone 4, yet it turned out to be one of the best redesigns.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 21, 2017 ---
    Not everyone is in that boat. The watch does what I want it to do already, that’s why a redesign would be welcomed for me.
     
  22. WannaGoMac macrumors 68020

    WannaGoMac

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    Wonder if Apple will slow the ekg readings as the watch battery degrades? :)
     
  23. Will.O.Bie macrumors 6502

    Will.O.Bie

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    #25
    Do you want it to look like Android wear? Function beats aesthetics any day.
     

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