AliveCor’s KardiaBand is the first FDA-approved Apple Watch medical accessory

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In case you haven’t been able to identify the utility of today’s smart wearable devices, don’t worry, you’re not alone. That’s actually still the leading cause of the market’s inability to mature and the main reason why so few smartphone users choose to embrace smartwatches or activity trackers quarter after quarter.

The notable exception, of course, is the Apple Watch, which has managed to sell in large numbers (all things considered) ever since the first generation was unveiled back in 2015.

This year’s addition of standalone cellular connectivity predictably led to an uptick in mainstream popularity, but many people continue to wait for that one killer selling point. A truly life-changing or even life-saving feature enhancing the product’s currently limited health monitoring capabilities.

Enter AliveCor’s KardiaBand, which has been a couple of years in the making, finally gaining FDA approval today to be used as a medical device accessory. This is a pretty standard-looking replacement band for your original Apple Watch strap aside from a little built-in sensor that provides access to a 30-second EKG (electrocardiogram) reading anytime, anywhere.

You just touch the sensor, which can quickly (and discreetly) detect atrial fibrillation. AFib is the most common heart arrhythmia, affecting more than 30 million people worldwide, and very often leading to preventable strokes.

Early detection and right treatment of heart conditions like that can literally save lives, and that’s precisely what former Google Senior Vice President Vic Gundotra proposes with his company’s groundbreaking KardiaBand.

In theory, Apple could also internally develop something along these lines, with a number of patents in the past suggesting that might happen sooner rather than later. But AliveCor has already done all the heavy lifting, releasing the first FDA-cleared medical Apple Watch accessory.

You can purchase the $199 KardiaBand right now, with a $99 a year AliveCor Premium subscription also required to gain detailed insight into your heart’s health and easily inform your personal physician of worrisome EKG results. The wearable industry’s medical revolution officially starts today.

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About The Author
Adrian Diaconescu

Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).