Many expected AliveCor to be squashed by the launch of the ECG enabled Apple Watch but the opposite seems to be happening. Not only have their sales doubled since the Apple event, but AliveCor is going on the offensive by preparing to release a more accurate smartphone ECG reader.
Apple’s announcement of the Series 4 Watch last week seemed to be the undoing of AliveCor. This is a company whose claim to fame is an FDA approved ECG reader that attaches to the back of a tablet or smartphone. Just like the new Apple Watch, it shows whether your heart rhythm is normal or if atrial fibrillation is detected in your EKG.
The gizmo also comes in the form of an Apple Watch band. You press on the band with your thumb to take a ECG reading. The accompanying Apple Watch application then processes the data.
AliveCor’s CEO Vic Gundotra told CNBC the company’s sales have doubled in the days since Apple’s Keynote. He thinks the reason for this is that many people have not heard of an ECG, let alone bought one. Traffic to AliveCor’s website has doubled in the past week while sales of its products have jumped 80%.
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What’s more, the company told TechCrunch it is hard at work on a more accurate device. Unlike its current product range and the Series 4 Watch which have a single lead ECG, this one would have 6-lead system. In a care clinic ECG readers have 12 leads which are placed across a patient’s chest to pick up heart data. More leads mean more accuracy.
The yet-to-be named 6-lead ECG reader would be able to pick up about 100 different diseases. Arguably, the most important of the lot is ST elevation, an important factor associated with the onset of a heart attack. Identifying this in time could save many lives.
A more precise device would separate AliveCor’s products from the competition. Apple itself admitted its ECG monitor will not do a perfect job when it comes to determining atrial fibrillation. But the hope is the watch will be of use to people who are not aware they have the condition. The disease is treatable, but many people don’t feel symptoms.
AliveCor plans to bring the 6-lead ECG reader to consumers during 2019. The California-based medical health company is now working with the FDA on regulatory details.
The current version of AliveCor’s Kardia Band can be ordered from Amazon. In addition to the purchase price, the band requires a subscription to AliveCor’s premium service.
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