Apple will put an EKG reader on Apple Watch (I doubt it)

EKG Heart Monitor

Bloomberg has reported that new versions of the Apple Watch could feature souped-up heart-monitoring technology.

Behind the walls of Cupertino, a version of the Apple Watch being tested requires users to squeeze the frame with two fingers to send a weak electrical current to the heart to pick up signals, the report said. It could become a credible medical device that could alert users to take preventative measures in heart health.

An afternoon recap of the day's most important business news, delivered weekdays. They asked not to be identified talking about private plans.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

"I can see a role for wearable ECGs as a mechanism to diagnose arrhythmia as an adjunct to what is now available", said Ethan Weiss, a cardiologist at the University of California San Francisco. In November, Apple announced a joint project with Stanford to track irregular heartbeats with current Apple Watch models, but that's still limited by its sensors.

While it makes sense for Apple to expand its watch's heart-rate tracking capabilities, an EKG reader is niche-as UCSF cardiologist Ethan Weiss told Bloomberg, it's not something you need unless you're experiencing issues such as fainting spells or heart palpitations. If any abnormalities are spotted, the user is offered a free video consultation with a doctor from telehealth provider American Well Corp. However, it does align with the company's growing interest in the health and heart health space.

On top of that, the health industry is an especially lucrative market to get into-and Apple's all about that, too. Google parent Alphabet Inc. has two health care divisions, while Amazon.com Inc. has for nearly two decades been looking at ways to get into the pharmaceutical industry.

On Thursday, Bloomberg reported that the Cupertino giant is now testing the use of Apple Watch as an EKG.

Apple may be taking steps to transform its flagship wearable into a true medical device. With a few more years, it's quite likely that the Apple Watch will have a suite of third-party medical companions, transforming its utility with little effort on Apple's end. The startup's device and its algorithm have received FDA approval.

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