In September 2017, Apple announced that its Apple Watch 3 will be able to detect atrial fibrillation. We received dozens of emails and tweets asking us what that meant for us. “Were we worried that Apple would crush us?”
Not at all. In fact, we’re excited that Apple is bringing further legitimacy to what we have believed all along – that a device like everbeat can help save lives by detecting atrial fibrillation and other forms of cardiac arrhythmia. Here are five reasons we are excited, not worried, about Apple’s announcement.
- Just like Fitbit made it cool to wear sleek wristbands like our everbeat, Apple is making it cool to monitor your heart health with a wrist-based device. That was a battle we were worried about fighting. It’s nice now to be able to point to the Apple announcement as evidence that our core business value proposition is real.
- Apple uses an optical sensor called a PPG to detect atrial fibrillation. So does everbeat. But, everbeat also has an electrocardiogram (ECG) chip onboard. We believe a PPG can provide a reasonable indication of atrial fibrillation, but the ECG is needed for confirmation. We chose to include both a PPG and an ECG on everbeat to improve accuracy, while providing continuous heart monitoring. We are seeking FDA approval for our combined PPG + ECG-based assessment now.
- Beyond atrial fibrillation, there are several other forms of cardiac arrhythmia that we want everbeat to tackle. Our inclusion of a medical-grade ECG chip will enable us to diagnose these diseases, leveraging machine learning. So we will be better-positioned to help more people with different heart health issues.
- Our everbeat platform connects the patient to their doctor. All of the patient’s important health data – their weight, medications, activity, blood pressure and their ECG – are shared in real-time with their physician. So the patient can communicate with their doctor who has this critical information at their fingertips.
- In early 2018, we will release an Android version of everbeat for the billions of other customers Apple can’t reach.
In summary, we are excited that Apple is shining a light on atrial fibrillation, and thrilled that they are “paving the road” for everbeat to help save lives and reduce health care costs.