AliveCor officially launched its Kardia Band for Apple Watch. It’s designed to function both as a heart rate monitor and as an Atrial Fibrillation
Detector, a type of cardiac arrhythmia that can cause a stroke.
AliveCor first previewed its prototype in the fall, and the new device is still awaiting FDA approval.
Users can record a single-lead EKG by a sensor on the Kardia Band that communicates with a companion Apple Watch app, according to a company statement. It can also let you know when you need to retake an EKG.
The wrist sensor is a sleeker approach than the wearable patches that currently dominate this part of the wearables market. It builds on AliveCor’s own smartphone enabled EKG, which uses a patch. But will it be good enough to replace its own iRhythm Technologies‘ wearable Zio XT Patch and Preventice’s Body Guardian for Heart.
Remote monitoring tools like this illustrate the advances in health applications for wearables. Companies like Apple and Fitbit are pretty keen to show just how relevant they can be to the healthcare industry. But one of the most frequently repeated challenges is figuring out how to bridge the gap between collecting information on cardiac events from these devices and ensuring that physicians get that information in a way that makes sense to their workflow.
On the other hand, it will be interesting to see if drug developers view this technology as a useful way to advance remote monitoring in clinical trials.