The Apple Watch is perhaps the most ubiquitous and luxurious piece of wearable tech currently on the market. It’s a premium device with a premium price tag, and it offers user access to a convenient suite of features that interface perfectly with the rest of Apple’s ecosystem.
It seems as if the Apple Watch is due for an upgrade, however, with recent reports from Bloomberg suggesting that the Apple Watch 4 will feature an EKG Heart monitor.
Apple Watch 4 EKG Monitor
EKGs function using electric signals, and are designed to detect heart abnormalities. While the test is usually performed using a series of leads attached to the body at various spots. The Apple Watch 4 seems to accomplish roughly the same thing with an EKG heart monitor built right into the device.
Rather than relying on awkwardly placed leads, the Apple Watch 4 will act as an EKG heart monitor by prompting users to squeeze the device. Sensors then sent electrical impulses up the arm and across the chest to obtain measurements that would normally be gathered using electrodes. The potential of this technology is immense, allowing the Apple Watch 4 EKG heart monitor to provide users at risk for heart attack and stroke with a regular influx of cardiovascular data. The information may also serve to provide doctors with timely and accurate information about a patient’s health – allowing for quicker detection and treatment of potentially dangerous problems.
A New Path
The Apple Watch 4 EKG heart monitor is the latest move in an effort to market the Apple Watch 4 as a medical tool. With marketing as a piece of luxury jewelry not paying off in the way that they had hoped, this new avenue seems to offer more benefits than a simple status symbol.
As with any medical device, there’s a large amount of red tape that the Apple Watch 4 will have to go through for their EKG heart monitor to be recognized as a device with legitimate benefit. Considering the importance of accuracy when it comes to cardiovascular data, Apple really needs to get this technology correct. The stakes are much higher for the Apple Watch 4 when compared to other product families from the tech giant, as healthcare is an extremely regulated industry. If Apple can pull it off, however, the EKG heart monitor included with the device could set the watch apart from the competition.
In Late November, Apple joined forces with Stanford University for the latest study in a series of tests dating back to 2015. This study is intended to track the heart rate of Apple Watch users and check for irregularity. This functionality is already possible with the current design of the Apple Watch, but new forms of tracking like an EKG heart monitor necessitates new equipment.
Apple has already had preliminary approval from the Federal Drug Administration for their first medical device accessory, but the approved EKG heart monitor is built into the wrist strap of the device rather than the Apple Watch itself. Apple’s eventual goal is to have the technology totally contained within the Watch rather than the band, so there’s still a series of hoops to jump through.
Apple is set to make waves in the wearable tech industry if they manage to pull this off, and an EKG heart monitor may truly position the Apple Watch 4 as a medical device rather than a simple convenient companion to an existing iOS device.