AliveCor, maker of an FDA-cleared, smartphone-based electrocardiogram device, is developing a similar product for the Apple Watch. AliveCor Founder and CMO Dr. Dave Albert showed a prototype Friday at the University of Southern California Center for Body Computing’s ninth annual conference.
The new development, which, unlike the Mobile ECG and related AliveECG app, has not gone through FDA review yet, is a single-lead sensor built into a replacement watchband. “It’s a prototype, but it’s exactly the same technology as our AliveECG,” Albert said.
This prototype goes beyond the smartphone product because it can be worn all the time, takes heart rate and activity history between ECG readings and can record voice annotations. When the app detects a potential issue with the user’s heart rate, it can send a notification to take an ECG.
“This is a personal, long-term cardiac monitor,” Albert said in a phone interview from the conference, though perhaps not completely practical right now. “Obviously,” he added, “Apple has to improve the battery life of the watch.”
Compatible with the new Apple Watch OS 2, the wristband can take readings without an iPhone present. “You don’t need a phone except to upload your data to the cloud,” according to Albert.
Albert said that San Francisco-based AliveCor holds a U.S. patent on simultaneously recording voice and ECG waveforms. “In essence, we can analyze not only what she says, but how she says it,” he said in a video demonstration featuring Center for Body Computing Executive Director Dr. Leslie Saxon.
Saxon called it “contextualized, diagnostic” ECG.
Albert said that AliveCor is capable of making a similar wristband for Android Wear products, but he wants to focus on the Apple Watch because that is the most popular brand of smart watch so far.
Check out the video below.