Published: Fri, December 22, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Preston Stone

Apple reportedly developing Apple Watch with built-in EKG heart monitor

Apple reportedly developing Apple Watch with built-in EKG heart monitor

A new report is claiming that the upcoming Apple Watch installments following this year's Apple Watch Series 3 could come with advanced EKG heart monitors. But given just how useful it could be - better tracking could help people prevent strokes and heart failure ahead of time - that seems unlikely. Currently, the wearable sports a heart rate monitor that uses photodiode sensors and LEDs to track the flow of blood through the skin.

"I can see a role for wearable ECGs as a mechanism to diagnose arrhythmia as an adjunct to what is now available", said Ethan Weiss, a cardiologist at the University of California San Francisco.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple is planning to unify iOS and Mac apps
The single app system means applications will be able to work with an iOS device and on a Mac computer, sources told Bloomberg . By allowing developers to build unified apps, it expands the marketplace which is good for developers, consumers, and Apple.

While the inclusion of this feature will tempt many into buying future Apple Watch models, a cardiologist at University of California has stated such an Apple Watch, should it come to fruition, isn't intended for people who don't experience heart-related issues, such as arrhythmia. The Watch would then send a current to the wearer's heart and check for any abnormalities, sources told Bloomberg. What Apple wants to do is to provide a solution that could monitor the heart's activity for longer periods, so that cardiac problems are detected early.

As with all things in development at Apple, there's no guarantee the company will ever follow this reported project to fruition. While multiple Apple executives have repeatedly highlighted the health care sector as a target for innovation, the field is of particular interest to chief operating officer Jeff Williams. Google parent Alphabet Inc. has two health care divisions, while Inc. has for nearly two decades been looking at ways to get into the pharmaceutical industry. "The purposes we use ECGs for will likely also expand". The agency outlined proposals in July to use more computer testing to speed up approvals, potentially helping new entrants.

Apple Insider pointed out that the new report comes a few weeks after AlivCor's Kardia Band EKG meter received certification from the FDA to be an Apple Watch accessory.

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