Published: Fri, December 22, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Wayne Curry

Apple Watch Series 4 Could Feature Advanced EKG To Prevent Heart Attacks

Apple Watch Series 4 Could Feature Advanced EKG To Prevent Heart Attacks

Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg is claiming that Apple is developing an advanced heart-monitor for its next generation Apple Watch, as part of the company's plans to turn its smartwatch into a serious medical device.

According to the report, Apple's implementation could substantially differ from Kardia's solutions by integrating heart-monitoring leads directly into the frame of the Apple Watch rather than in a band or separate box, requiring only an extended pinch of the frame to monitor and record heartbeats. Currently, the wearable sports a heart rate monitor that uses photodiode sensors and LEDs to track the flow of blood through the skin. It could become a credible medical device that could alert users to take preventative measures in heart health.

Such tests are called electrocardiograms, or EKGs. Just last month, it launched its Apple Heart Study app with the goal of determining whether the Apple Watch's existing heart rate system could be used to accurately detect irregular heart rhythms, according to MacRumors. But they only monitor the heart's activity for short periods, limiting their ability to spot potential abnormalities.

While it makes sense for Apple to expand its watch's heart-rate tracking capabilities, an EKG reader is niche-as UCSF cardiologist Ethan Weiss told Bloomberg, it's not something you need unless you're experiencing issues such as fainting spells or heart palpitations.

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As with all things in development at Apple, there's no guarantee the company will ever follow this reported project to fruition.

The health industry's size has made it attractive for tech giants seeking new growth markets.

Apple Watch users can already buy an EKG made by AliveCor Inc. that is built into the watch's strap.

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