Samsung’s realtime ECG monitor is one step closer to an official US release thanks to the device receiving FCC approval yesterday.
Essential reading: Keep tabs on your heart – wearables that come with an ECG sensor
Originally announced more than 5 years ago and demoed at CES 2016, the S-Patch is a wearable health tracker that contains Samsung’s Bio Processor chip, Bluetooth connectivity and internal memory. The gadget attaches to your chest to monitor a range of biometrics including ECG, providing you with a complete picture of your heart health.
ECG devices keep tabs on the heart’s rhythm and electrical activity and detect irregularities and other cardiac abnormalities that could lead to a stroke or heart attack. While there are smartwatches and the commercial products that do this, the vast majority does it only on demand.
The Apple Watch is perhaps the most famous of the bunch. Series 4 and 5 devices can take your ECG. Simply rest your finger against the digital crown while wearing the watch. This creates a closed circuit between the digital crown and the sensor on the back. Built in electrodes then work to detect electrical impulses from the heart.
Other wearables that can do this include WIWE, Withings BPM Core, Withings Move ECG and Omron Complete. But none of these measure ECG around the clock.
A device that does is QardioCore. The gizmo records your electrocardiogram, heart rate, heart rate variability, body temperature, respiratory rate, activity and stress level. It’s a nice bit of kit but fairly expensive.
However, there’s lots of info on Samsung’s website. The device has already seen the light of day in some markets such as India. Plus it has the stamp of approval from a few other regulatory bodies such as the European CE, Australian Department of Health, HSA and Medsafe.
Weighing a mere 11 grams S-Patch can keep going for 100 hours on a single coin-cell battery. There’s a cloud-based ECG web portal, along with a smartphone app which streams ECG info in real-time. An AI- based ECG analysis algorithm sifts through the data to assist providers in detecting anomalies in patient’s heart rhythms.
The average person is unlikely to purchase the S-Patch Cardio as it is primarily intended for the elderly, patients, physicians, and care managers to manage cardiovascular conditions. Having a medically accurate electrocardiograph trace for deeper heart health insights could be lifesaving for those with heart conditions.
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