Future Apple Watch models could get EKG heart monitoring

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Apple is developing a version of the Apple Watch that can give you an EKG, Bloomberg reported.

The mechanism of the new feature is actually very simple. More specifically, they could use electric signals to detect heart abnormalities, heart defects, and other cardiovascular illnesses. While the current Apple Watch has a basic heart monitor, Apple wants to use advanced sensors to predict future afflictions instead of simply collecting historical data about the body. When users squeeze the frame of their Apple Watch using their free hand, the device will send a current across their chest so it can identify the presence of heart abnormalities such as irregular heart rates.

The feature would enable future Apple Watch users to go beyond the devices' current heart rate tracking functionality, providing specific visualizations of healthy heart rhythms and potentially risky arrhythmias. An EKG would make it easier to establish the health of a user's heart, and potentially spot some cardiac problems early. EKG reading is also a nice feature to include if Apple continues its trend of working with leading researchers on programs such as the Apple Heart Study.

Such tests are called electrocardiograms, or EKGs.

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Apple Watch users can already buy an EKG made by AliveCor Inc. that is built into the watch's strap.

It's no secret Apple has taken a deep interest in heart health in recent months, with the company most recently launching a ResearchKit-based Apple Heart Study app to customers in the United States in partnership with Stanford University's School of Medicine. But given just how useful it could be - better tracking could help people prevent strokes and heart failure ahead of time - that seems unlikely.

The feature would play into Apple's broader ambition to turn the Apple Watch into a clinical-grade health monitor.

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