Wearable device to measure heart irregularities

  • TECH
  • Friday, 18 Jul 2014

While fitness-oriented wearable devices that track pulse are everywhere, the creators of LifeTip tease the border of the medical domain with their product, designed to keep users abreast of their electrocardiography (ECG) statistics.

Keeping in step with increasingly high standards in the wearable fitness tracker industry, LifeTip is not only sleek and small, it also does not require skin contact.

The device appears most appropriate for those at risk of cardiac arrest, although the device's Indiegogo crowd-funding page includes testimonials from high performance athletes as young as 24 who consider the device important after experiencing unexpected cardiac problems.

Although LifeTip makes no mention as to whether it plans to seek FDA approval, and until then should not be considered a medical device, marketers claim it can detect dangerous arrhythmias (a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat) and communicate them automatically to emergency medical services even when the user is unconscious.

Profiled on the LifeTip Indiegogo page are the team's eight most elite members, of which most are engineers and technology developers and one is a cardiologist.

Home ECG monitors are nothing new; some wearables like HealthPatch are even FDA approved, and AliveCor, a cardiac monitoring device which, like LifeTip, connects via Bluetooth to a corresponding smartphone app, received over-the-counter FDA clearance in March of this year.

Due to the timing of LifeTip's release in the high pressure atmosphere of the wearables industry, the device is likely to raise important questions about such devices entering the life-saving domain.

Beyond the ECG plus body temperature monitoring aspects, LifeTip offers the usual menu of fitness and lifestyle tracking, notable claims of which include emotion-reading.

It comes in two formats, one to be worn between bra cups, the other which attaches to a T-shirt.

LifeTip is available for pre-order for US$109(RM345) with free international shipping. Delivery is expected in January 2015.

Crowdfunding efforts have made an US$8,000(RM25,000) dent in its goal of US$65,000 (RM210,000) with 28 days to go. — Relaxnews 2104

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