(Pocket-lint) - Apple is developing new versions of the Apple Watch with EKG capabilities, according to a new report.
Bloomberg has reported that new versions of the Apple Watch could feature souped-up heart-monitoring technology. More specifically, they could use electric signals to detect heart abnormalities, heart defects, and other cardiovascular illnesses. Apple ultimately wants the Apple Watch to be able to perform Electrocardiograms, or EKG, whenever a user squeezes the sides of its smartwatch.
EKGs are medical tests that typically use electrodes, which are placed on a person's skin, in order to monitor electrical patterns in between heartbeats. Future Apple Watches may have sensors that can gather data from weak electric currents traveling up the arm and across the chest to a user's heart, thus eliminating the need to measure and gather such data via electrodes on the skin.
By receiving this sort of EKG data, Apple Watch users would be able to check their risk for stroke or heart failure as well as be able to better inform their doctors, who might be able to diagnosis and start treatment before its too late. Keep in mind Apple recently launched a new app that allows it to collect your heart rhythm data via the latest Apple Watch. It's called the Apple Heart Study app.
The app uses the watch's existing heart rate sensor to detect irregularities. It can measure heart rate through green LED lights that flash hundreds of times per second. Apple revealed it was working on this initiative, in partnership with Stanford University, when it released WatchOS 4.
If you add all these moves up, Apple is clearly trying to make the Apple Watch a legit medical tool, rather than a fitness or fashion device.