Former Google exec Vic Gundotra shows off Kardia Band, an ECG heart monitor for Apple Watch [u]

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited March 2016
The Kardia Band -- built by Google+ founding father Vic Gundotra's medical device startup AliveCor -- is an Apple Watch band with an integrated ECG module that the company hopes will make it easier for heart patients to identify potential problems before it's too late [updated].




Together with a companion iOS app, the Kardia band will help wearers quickly determine whether they should seek help when they feel unusual symptoms. The results of the sensor's analysis can be quickly e-mailed to a doctor if necessary, and users can attach voice memos to describe what they feel.

Update:
"AliveCor sits on the other side of the FDA line," Gundotra said to Re/code. "We are not a fitness product. This is not a toy. We're talking about people's lives."

The Kardia Band is a more portable version of the smartphone-connected Kardia Mobile, which is already approved by the FDA.

"We think it will become the first FDA-cleared accessory for any smartwatch device," Gundotra said. There is no word yet on how long that process might take, or how much the Kardia Band will cost when it does hit shelves.

Many believe that Apple initially planned to build more sensitive medical sensors into the Apple Watch, but scaled back plans to avoid the rigorous FDA approval process. Company executives went so far as to meet with agency representatives to discuss "mobile medical applications."

By opening up the Apple Watch to third-party developers, Apple can encourage the same types of uses without incurring the regulatory overhead.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    jakebjakeb Posts: 559member
    How does it connect? Is it using the diagnostic port or just Bluetooth? 
  • Reply 2 of 24
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    sweet. the future is wide open...
    latifbpargonautpscooter63
  • Reply 3 of 24
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Looks terrible, but it's a first.
  • Reply 4 of 24
    stubbstubb Posts: 16member
    Very interesting in that it could enable heart-rate variation (HRV) measurements without a chest strap. Waking HRV is used by athletes to track recovery and plan workouts.
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 5 of 24
    irelandireland Posts: 17,794member
    Apple should snap up this company.
  • Reply 6 of 24
    irelandireland Posts: 17,794member
    Looks terrible, but it's a first.
    I disagree that it looks terrible. The bright colour patch is as much marketing right now as it is functional. By design the patch could be changed/hidden easily. I suspect it was a deliberate design choice for the first ones.
    edited March 2016 techprod1gy
  • Reply 7 of 24
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,571moderator
    We long-time AI members predicted this type of accessory a year before the Watch was introduced.  Finally we're seeing special-purpose bands.  I expect glucose-monitoring to be a big area, with insurance companies subsidizing the cost.  Plus the obvious battery bands that will inevitably make a showing soon enough.
    argonaut
  • Reply 8 of 24
    levilevi Posts: 344member
    Very promising as a product, and for wearables as a whole going forward. 
  • Reply 9 of 24
    Tim cook talked about that in november 2015, saying the process to be approve by FDA was too much for the watch and it would have to be done too often, but something else could be approved and be change less often.
  • Reply 10 of 24
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    ireland said:
    Looks terrible, but it's a first.
    I disagree that it looks terrible. The bright colour patch is as much marketing right now as it is functional. By design the patch could be changed/hidden easily. I suspect it was a deliberate design choice for the first ones.
    Personally, I think it looks under designed. Is it something an Apple Watch owner will buy? Apple Watch owners should weigh in here.
  • Reply 11 of 24
    Being a complete hypochondriac this is like the best and worst thing i've ever heard of. I'd wear this 24/7 and give myself a heart attack wondering if i'm having one!! 
    radarthekatpatchythepirateargonaut
  • Reply 12 of 24
    latifbplatifbp Posts: 544member
    Because my son has a congenital heart condition with intermittent arrhythmias this will be a game changer!
    edited March 2016 lolliveranantksundaram
  • Reply 13 of 24
    sog35 said:
    Personally, I think it looks under designed. Is it something an Apple Watch owner will buy? Apple Watch owners should weigh in here.
    As an AppleWatch sport owner I think the white patch looks terrible. Would be much better if it matched the rest of the band.
    It doesn't matter if it looks "under designed", "terrible", or whatever. What matters is that it works and helps save people's lives, and incidentally sells more Apple Watches .

    Also, it's probably not white, but matte silver as in metal. Perhaps an electrode of some sort.
    edited March 2016 gatorguy
  • Reply 14 of 24
    sog35 said:
    It doesn't matter if it looks "under designed", "terrible", or whatever. What matters is that it works and helps save people's lives, and incidentally sells more Apple Watches .

    Also, it's probably not white, but matte silver as in metal. Perhaps an electrode of some sort.
    Yes of course the most important thing is it saves lives. But that does not mean they have it make it 'ugly' on purpose.

    I can't imagine the patch NEEDS to be white. I see no reason why it can't match the band.  If it needs to be WHITE then fine.  

    A watch is something people wear everyday, and no one wants to wear an watch that is uglier than it needs to be.
    Again, it doesn't matter how damn "ugly" it looks. And the "white" patch IS an electrode. See this vid as published in the MacRumors article:


    gatorguyargonaut
  • Reply 15 of 24
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 964member
    sog35 said:
    Again, it doesn't matter how damn "ugly" it looks. And the "white" patch IS an electrode. See this vid as published in the MacRumors article:


    So does the patch need to be white?  Can't they make black patches to match the band?
    Dude you are really missing the point. Plus if someone in your high society dinner party catches you wearing this because it's white and they asked you what that "god awful piece of shit thing is on your wrist" it would spark conversation and likely spark further interest with someone else. It won't be until you wear it while playing tennis one day at your country club where you might unexpectedly pass out that you will be thankful you were wearing it. 
  • Reply 16 of 24
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    JinTech said:
    sog35 said:
    So does the patch need to be white?  Can't they make black patches to match the band?
    Dude you are really missing the point. Plus if someone in your high society dinner party catches you wearing this because it's white and they asked you what that "god awful piece of shit thing is on your wrist" it would spark conversation and likely spark further interest with someone else. It won't be until you wear it while playing tennis one day at your country club where you might unexpectedly pass out that you will be thankful you were wearing it. 
    What? A major reason why a person buys an Apple Watch versus an Android watch or a Samsung watch is because of the name and quality of Apple. This band looks like hell compared to the watch itself. 
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 17 of 24
    sandorsandor Posts: 650member
    ..I expect glucose-monitoring to be a big area, with insurance companies subsidizing the cost...

    It has been 35+ years of trying to find non-invasive blood glucose monitoring systems.

    no luck yet.

    the results have always been poor. improving over the decades, but poor.
    in comparison, NIRS and other non-invasive techniques has been refined to be very accurate and reproducible for measuring tissue oxygenation & a variety of other metabolic markers.

    Glucose, however, has not had such luck.




    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26695247

    Talanta. 2016 Jan 1;146:155-65. doi: 10.1016/j.talanta.2015.08.033. Epub 2015 Aug 18.

    Selection of the most informative near infrared spectroscopy wavebands for continuous glucose monitoring in human serum.

    By controlling the blood glucose levels of diabetics permanent diabetes-related problems such as blindness and loss of limbs can be delayed or even avoided. Therefore, many researchers have aimed at the development of a non-invasive sensor to monitor the blood glucose level continuously. As non-invasive measurements through the skin, the ear lobe or the gums have proven to be either unreliable or impractical, attention has recently shifted to minimally invasive sensors which measure the glucose content in serum or interstitial fluid. Thanks to the development of on-chip spectrometers minimally invasive, implantable devices are coming within reach. However, this technology does not allow to acquire a large number of wavelengths over a broad range. Therefore, the most informative combination of a limited number of variables should be selected. In this study, Interval PLS (iPLS), Variable Importance in Projection (VIP), Uninformative Variable Elimination (UVE), Bootstrap-PLS coefficients, Moving window, CorXyPLS, Interval Random Frog-PLS and combinations of these methods were used in order to address the question whether the short wave band (800-1500nm), first overtone band (1500-1800nm), the combination band (2050-2300nm) or a combination of them is the most informative region for glucose measurements and which wavebands should be measured within these wavelength ranges. The three different data sets employed focus on the determination of (1) glucose in aqueous solutions over the 1-30mM range in presence of urea and sodium D-lactate, (2) glucose in aqueous solutions over the 2-16mM range in presence of icodextrin and urea and (3) glucose in human serum samples. The best results for the first, second and third data sets were obtained by selecting 40, 130 and 20 variables resulting in a PLS model with an RMSEP of 0.56, 0.59 and 1.5mM, respectively. It was found that the first overtone band is most informative for aqueous solutions, while for glucose measurement of serum samples the combination band was found to be the better choice.



  • Reply 18 of 24
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,509member
    JinTech said:
    sog35 said:
    So does the patch need to be white?  Can't they make black patches to match the band?
    Dude you are really missing the point. Plus if someone in your high society dinner party catches you wearing this because it's white and they asked you what that "god awful piece of shit thing is on your wrist" it would spark conversation and likely spark further interest with someone else. It won't be until you wear it while playing tennis one day at your country club where you might unexpectedly pass out that you will be thankful you were wearing it. 
    What? A major reason why a person buys an Apple Watch versus an Android watch or a Samsung watch is because of the name and quality of Apple. This band looks like hell compared to the watch itself. 
    http://thetechnews.com/2016/03/16/heart-stroke-can-be-detected-by-your-next-apple-watch-band/
    Another view of it, but with a white band rather than black. 

    EDIT: Looking at those images again I'm now wondering if the author used actual product shots or not. Thinking "not". 
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 19 of 24
    sog35 said:
    Again, it doesn't matter how damn "ugly" it looks. And the "white" patch IS an electrode. See this vid as published in the MacRumors article:


    So does the patch need to be white?  Can't they make black patches to match the band?


    Maybe it doesn't need to be white but having it match the color of the band will make it more difficult for user to take EKG recordings. More info at http://store.alivecor.com/#kardia-mobile
  • Reply 20 of 24
    This is brilliant, and surely one of a massive, yet-to-come industry. Congratulations to Mr. Gundotra. 

    If I was in the market for something like this, I'd worry about the 24 (borderline, 36-hour) hour battery limitation of the Watch, though. And the fact that charging is not possible when you're wearing it, which means that getting measurements/alerts when you're sleeping would be difficult, if not impossible.
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