Apple has been granted a patent for a cardiac monitoring wristband that can be used in combination with the Apple Watch. The invention was granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Patently Apple was the first to draw attention to the fact that the business had submitted an application for the patent in September of 2018. The document was given the number 11,083,383 when it was submitted for registration. It’s interesting to note that it wasn’t until a few months later that Apple released their first watch equipped with an ECG.
On the other hand, the gadget at issue is an interpretation of the wrist-based ECG capabilities that is far more advanced and accurate. Consequently, those who are already aware of having cardiac abnormalities, such as coronary artery disease, difficulties with their heart’s rhythm, or those who were born with heart defects, are probably the best candidates for this treatment. Because the patent does not go into this depth, we cannot know for certain whether or not the data would be of medical quality.
What it does disclose, though, is that the gadget for monitoring the heart’s activity would appear quite similar to the heart rate armbands that are now on the market. In the past, those who desired more accurate readings of their heart rates were required to wear chest straps. Because of advances in technology, gadgets of this sort can now function with the same level of precision whether they are attached to the upper or lower arm.
The device that Apple sells very closely resembles this form factor. This particular equipment is able to detect the electric field of the heart in addition to measuring the heart rate, which is the primary distinction between the two. This is accomplished by the use of a single electrode, as is seen below (denoted by number 112).
Apple’s patent describes an antenna that may be used as a substitute for the second electrode since ECG machines need a circuit in order to complete a reading. This can be thought of as a workaround. It is located on the side of the armband that is opposite the clasp (110 in the chart). Capacitive coupling is the process by which the heart and the antenna combine to produce a capacitor. In essence, the antenna and the heart make a capacitor.
An electrode that is designed to be in touch with a user’s limb and is included in one example of a cardiac monitoring device may be described as follows: An antenna that is capacitively connected with the body of the user and uses air as the dielectric may also be included in the gadget that monitors heart activity. According to the text of the patent, “the antenna may serve to substitute a second electrode.”
The armband does not come with its own display, but it has the capability to wirelessly transmit data to a variety of other devices. According to the patent, it is possible that one of them is the Apple Watch. The wearable device was capable of doing analysis on the data and displaying the results. It is possible to add functionality to the watch that will allow the user to communicate instructions to the armband.
Over the course of many days, weeks, and months, the data would be gathered and plotted. The electrical information gleaned from the wristband monitor would be used as the basis for the AI’s analysis of the user’s heart health.
It is still unknown whether or not this particular gadget will ever be used in the real world. Apple submits a large number of patent applications, a few of which will likely never be used. Even if we are able to get our hands on the product, it does not seem to be designed for widespread consumption. On the other hand, we may see medical professionals recommending it to patients who have preexisting cardiac conditions.