FDA Approves KardiaBand Apple Watch Strap

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The Apple Watch gets a first medical device accessory in the US-- the AliveCor KardiaBand, an EKG reader strap for the wearable device approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

KardiabandAlready in use in Europe, the KardiaBand is a strap with an integrated metallic sensor able to push EKG readings to a companion app. It can detect abnormal heart rhythm and atrial fibrillation (AF), making it similar to the KardiaMobile iPhone accessory. However it takes readings in real-time instead of having to be held in both hands for 30 seconds to register a reading.

To start a reading, users simply need to start a reading on the Kardia Watch app, place their thumb on the sensor and wait for the 30-second analysis. In addition users can speak into the Watch microphone to note palpitations, shortness of breath or dietary habits linked to heart-rate fluctuations.

The iPhone app stores recordings, and allows users to forward data to their doctor. It also connects with the Health app to integrate EKG readings with other fitness data. In the future it is getting SmartRhythm, a feature able to detect abnormal heart beats via deep neural network.

The KardiaBand is available now.

Go AliveCor KardiaBand