Ex Google+ Executive, Vic Gundotra builds Heart Monitor for the Apple Watch


AliveCor’s Kardia Band contains a standalone Heart Monitor for Apple Watch.

A medical startup, AliveCor builds heart-monitoring sensors for smart devices, has now built a standalone ECG sensor for Apple Watch which will be attached to company’s Kardia Band that can be wrist strapped with the Apple Watch. Tapping on the sensor triggers a reading and allows users to dictate symptoms into watch or phone and instantaneous heart-rate analysis can be emailed directly to the doctor.

The company has also introduced a new companion app that has speech recognition features and can be paired with the sensor to help communicate and represent data over the app. If you didn’t know, the company is already selling iPhone case with ECG sensors on the back. Once approved, the Kardia Band will also be available from company’s online store. Price not yet revealed.

Users can record a 1-lead ECG by simply touching the sensor attached to Kardia Band that will communicate with the companion app. Then the AF-detector will use Kardia’s algorithm to instantly detect the presence of Atrial Fibrillation (AF – a type of arrhythmia that can increase the risk of stroke and cause chest pains or heart failure) in an ECG. “Also included is the Normal Detector, which indicates whether your heart rate and rhythm are normal, and the Unreadable Detector, which tells you when to retake an EKG so physicians receive only the highest quality recordings.”

AliveCor is currently managed by Vic Gundotra as CEO, the former senior vice president at Google for their social network Google+ until 2014. An ex-senior director at Google’s secretive hardware unit, Simon Prakash is now vice president of products and design at AliveCor. Frank Petterson, another former Googler is in charge of AliveCor’s engineering.


“Kardia Band for Apple Watch represents both the future of proactive heart health and the introduction of the Wearable MedTech category,” said Vic Gundotra. “These combined technologies give us the ability to deliver personal reports that provide analysis, insights and actionable advice for the patient and their doctor.”

“The personal, discrete Kardia Band is a perfect fit for Apple Watch. It allows patients to easily measure and record their heart rhythm in real time. This can provide patients with a sense of control—which is vitally important to successful patient engagement in the treatment of chronic disease,” said Kevin R. Campbell, MD, FACC, North Carolina Heart and Vascular UNC Healthcare, clinical cardiac electrophysiology assistant professor, UNC Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, and President, K-Roc Consulting, LLC.

Apple Watch, although, includes its own heart rate monitor which also performs well but it’s still not as accurate as an ECG. In fact Apple never advertised its product as a medical device. In that sense, the new standalone product having FDA approval will sure be an attraction to the consumers.

Characteristics – Kardia Band

As appeared on company’s website.

  • Medical Grade: the first medical grade electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) band for the Apple Watch and a breakthrough in proactive heart health.
  • Instant ECG/EKG Analysis: With a quick, discreet touch of the Watch band, know instantly if your heart rhythm is normal or if atrial fibrillation (AF) is detected in your ECG/EKG.
  • Track and Share: Capture reliable heart activity data and relay it to your doctor to inform your diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • More Than EKG: Use voice memos to keep track of palpitations, shortness of breath, dietary habits and exercise patterns. Integrate with Health app and Google Fit for personal heart health insights. One-time setup and activation.
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