“Apple Inc. is developing an advanced heart-monitoring feature for future versions of its smartwatch, part of a broader push by the company to turn what was once a luxury fashion accessory into a serious medical device, according to people familiar with the plan,” Alex Webb reports for Bloomberg. “A version being tested requires users to squeeze the frame of the Apple Watch with two fingers from the hand that’s not wearing the device, one of the people said. It then passes an imperceptible current across the person’s chest to track electrical signals in the heart and detect any abnormalities like irregular heart rates.”

“These medical tests, known as electrocardiograms or EKGs and ECGs, are common in doctors’ offices, hospitals and ambulances. But they only monitor the heart’s activity for short periods, limiting their ability to spot potential abnormalities,” Webb reports. “The development process is ongoing and Apple may still decide not to include the technology in future products, the people said. They asked not to be identified talking about private plans. ”

Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular). The freedom to go with just your Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular). The freedom to go with just your Apple Watch.

 
“One hurdle to tech companies such as Apple entering the medical-device market has been the stringent testing requirements imposed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The agency outlined proposals in July to use more computer testing to speed up approvals, potentially helping new entrants,” Webb reports. “Apple Watch users can already buy an EKG made by AliveCor Inc. that is built into the watch’s strap. The startup’s device and its algorithm have received FDA approval. ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Further separation and even more differentiation for Apple Watch looms.

There’s Apple Watch, a sophisticated, secure wrist-borne computer with the backing of major hospitals, medical researchers, insurance providers, and more. And, then there’s a bunch of toy stupidwatches. The Apple Watch wannabes are roadkill.

SEE ALSO:
This U.S. FDA approval could be a huge deal for Apple – December 11, 2017
AliveCor’s Kardiaband EKG reader becomes first Apple Watch accessory to win FDA approval as a medical device – November 30, 2017
Apple Heart Study launches to identify irregular heart rhythms – November 30, 2017
AliveCor’s Kardiaband EKG reader becomes first Apple Watch accessory to win FDA approval as a medical device – November 30, 2017
John Hancock offers Apple Watch Series 3 for only $25 to all Vitality life insurance customers – October 23, 2017
Apple Heart Study could turn Apple Watch into a ‘must have’ for millions of patients – September 12, 2017
Apple and Aetna hold secret meetings to bring Apple Watch to the insurer’s 23 million members – August 14, 2017
Apple Watch the most accurate heart rate monitor in new fitness tracker study – May 24, 2017
Apple Watch helps doctors detect the leading cause of heart failure with 97% accuracy – May 12, 2017
Apple patents advanced heart rate monitor for Apple Watch – October 6, 2016
In major win for Apple, Aetna becomes first insurance company to subsidize Apple Watch – September 27, 2016
New ‘SweatCoin’ iPhone app pays people to get fit – May 5, 2016
Why you’ll wear an Apple Watch to keep your job – March 14, 2016
Share your fitness data for an Apple Watch – or cash – March 2, 2016
Tim Cook hints Apple might build a health device – November 10, 2015
Apple should double down on Apple Watch’s health sensors, battery life, and waterproofing – October 2, 2015
Health insurer will charge more for lazy people, less for active people, based on Apple Watch sensors – September 18, 2015
Apple Watch heart rate data vs. Mio dedicated heart rate monitor – May 7, 2015