What it is: The Food and Drug Administration has just cleared AliveCor’s Kardiaband EKG reader as the first medical device accessory for the Apple Watch.
Many people don’t see a need for the Apple Watch. Then again, many people also don’t see a need for a computer, smartphone, or car either. The real purpose of the Apple Watch is real-time health monitoring. While the Apple Watch can perform basic health monitoring like measuring your heart rate, more sophisticated health sensors require approval for use in the United States through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Apple has hinted in there past that instead of burdening the Apple Watch with health sensors people may not want, a better solution might be to offer smart bands that contain unique health sensors. That way customers can customize their Apple Watch but more importantly, putting additional health sensors on bands avoids getting approval from the FDA just to sell more advanced models of the Apple Watch.
Now a company called AliveCor has released a smart band with an EKG reader that can potentially detect an abnormal heart beat. EKGs are usually only available in offices and hospitals so having one on your wrist that can check your heart and then send a readout straight to your doctor could help prevent a heart attack or stroke.
Wearable computers will only get more powerful over time and with third parties going through the arduous process of getting FDA approval, Apple can continue offering improved versions of the Apple Watch while other companies offer optional smart bands to monitor special medical conditions.
The future of wearable computers lis with real-time health monitoring. Since everyone is concerned about health, the market for wearables like the Apple Watch will only continue to grow over time until one day the Apple Watch will likely be far more important to Apple than even the iPhone.