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Apple Watch releases first FDA-approved band accessory to detect strokes at early stage

AliveCor, the digital health company, has worked together with Apple Watch to create the first Food and Drug Administration approved EKG band accessory known as the Kardia Band. It combines the heart rate monitor, activity sensors and artificial intelligence that uses a neural network to predict and analyze the wearer’s heart rate based on their personal history and a trove of cardiovascular data from both sick and healthy people. The device measures the heart rate every five seconds and tells users when their heart rate is out of their expected range. It then prompts the user to record the heart’s electrical rhythm by placing their thumb over the built-in EKG sensor for 30 seconds. The recording can then directly be sent to a doctor in the form of a pdf document. 

Portable EKG readers have been around for awhile but this is the first device that informs the users on when to take a scan. More often than not, people that are at a risk of suffering from a stroke don’t show any outward physical signs until it is too late. AliveCor hopes the Kardia Band will be useful in getting an early diagnosis of potentially fatal heart conditions.

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