Watch that catches AF & heart attacks, alerts you then calls for help (with your location) if you don't answer. Too good to be true?

I saw this in a crowdfunding email. I suspect monitoring your heart from your wrist is pants but you might know better...

indiegogo.com/projects/ibea...

It's got a watch face, but is monitoring heart rate, rhythm (detects AF, heart attacks), tissue oxygenation & perfusion, movement, falls...

If eg you're having tachycardia/AF it asks if you're ok, & if it doesn't get an answer calls your selected people plus 911 (hopefully 999 here in UK), and gives your GPS position. (No good for permanent AF I suspect but apparently modifiable).

Personally I don't like the idea of always having a bluetoothy (or 4G/etc.) device always on my wrist (though heaven knows I'm nearly welded to my iPad).

I also wonder if for AFers it's really necessary to be so vigilant.

But the idea is, it would alert you & call for help, if, eg, you are having some ghastly attack in your sleep (not just AF).

And maybe it would be suitable for eg someone with limited communication and/mobility, or with dementia, as there are (it says) no buttons to press, and no need to know about the techie stuff. (Except someone has to set it up!)

So I think especially dementia sufferers or someone out climbing/jogging/walking in the wilds, would be safer, if it does what it says.

Just thought you techies, gadget-lovers and early adopters might give it the once-over and tell us what you think. Maybe it has potential in the long run, maybe it's another gadget, tomorrow's techno-junk?

Last edited by

21 Replies

oldestnewest
  • I would be concerned that it would set off an alarm whenever it is removed from the wrist as it would no longer detect a heart beat. I have a wrist based Garmin monitor and it can easily miss read especially in water.

    So in summary I would anticipate false alarms would be a concern, particularly if they involved calling an ambulance.

  • Hi there, Kristin here with iBeat. Thanks for your question. We have taken false alarms into account and have fail safes in place to ensure the device is not calling 911/999 accidentally. In the event of an emergency, the iBeat watch will vibrate and ask if you are ok before taking action to dispatch paramedics. If it's a false alarm, you'll have ten seconds to tap the watch and say you're okay before we escalate. Additionally, the watch will notify our dispatch team who can then field the call to paramedics, preventing any unnecessary false calls. If desired, you may also turn off the emergency notifications via the Settings of the device. Hope the helps!

  • I'd hope it would be set up so you could take it off without a problem... I'd certainly like to know more! I've thought about a wrist monitor, not as a fine detail device but an alert, and wondered if there was an iWatch app (not got one of those... wonder if this will be similarly expensive?). i suspect that will be the big limiting factor - price...

  • Aha, just reading, it includes a monitoring service, whatever that may mean, which you get free for the first year - after that you have to renew it (presumably this is an ongoing cost). That may also mean it's specifically for the US.

  • Hi yes that is a point, but so was the Kardia, probably, yet now we're using it. I send any suspicious Kardia ECG's away for analysis, and the report is done by a doctor in the UK.

    But yes I don't like the idea of a subscription.

    The man who developed it said (in the video about it on the Indiegogo site, link is in my post), that he developed it in response to the early death of a fit, healthy friend from heart attack, and that therefore it is going to be a nominal subscription because it's more a service than a money-spinner.

  • I think it must have fail safes. You can swim in it so it reduces the amount of times you would have to take it off.

  • Hi there! Kristin with iBeat here. The iBeat watch actually has a built-in skin contact sensor that can detect with the watch is being worn and not being worn. The device is meant to be worn 24-7, which is why it is waterproof, but if one should take it off, the device will know and automatically turn off. Once it's place back on the wrist, it'll turn back on. Additionally, there is a small attachable charger that allows you to charge the device while wearing it. Regarding price, the device will cost under $200 USD and $17 USD/month for monitoring ($160.64 GBP/$13.65 GBP/month), but for those who pre-order the device now, you save 70% and get one free year of monitoring. Hope that helps. Also, we have a website if you're interested in learning more - ibeat.com.

  • Thank you Kristin, I was looking at the website... So will the service be available in the UK then? I see you have GBP translations so I'm assuming you do...

  • Currently, the iBeat watch is only functional in the United States, but we are happy to ship your device anywhere around the world. In the near future, we plan to offer an international version of the iBeat Life Monitor with multi-language support that will work in the UK.

  • I understand... probably best to wait till the service is available in our region then lol. But it would be very helpful!

  • I didn't solicitors were allowed on this site. Just

    Curious.

  • I think this is an interesting development, we are heading towards a technology based approach to health which will involve watches and other worn or hand held devices to assist us to manage our health, and this is another phase towards that goal.

    Think Star Trek, and remember that "Bones" used to point that tricorder at someone for a complete analysis of their health, and whilst we are not there yet, we are well on the way.

    Of course that then means we will all live longer and then the interesting moral and ethical questions of health care for people over 100 maybe, and/or is there a limit? I saw this week scientists think it might be 125 for a human, but that's today who knows what tomorrow will say.

    Musing......

    Be well

    Ian

  • Think how long God used to let people live. Sarah had a baby at 99.

  • From my experience if something looks too good to be true then it usually is but as Ian says, we are moving to technology based health care system albeit rather slowly compared with other walks of life. Both Sam and I drive cars which call emergency services if we do not respond to a simple warning message in the event of an accident. Mine actually contacts a control room in Germany and a nice lady calls you and asks if everything is OK as I found out when I accidentally set it off. DOOOH!

    I'm sure that a link to any body worn device would be easy since we already have systems that can monitor your eye movement to detect tiredness and such as active lane control etc. Provided civilisation is not reversed over the next fifty years I see no reason why medical implants won't monitor us every second on the day and Bone's Tricorder not become reality. We may even have a holographic doctor like Janeway!

    Not sure I want to live another fifty odd years. My money should run out in a about 20 according to plan A .

  • It would scare the life out of me anyway!! :) :)

  • Well thankyou all for your responses!

    I think that even if it works perfectly I just wouldn't like wearing all that electrical pollution, nor being tracked by GPS.

    And, it means depending on technological infrastructure. What could possibly go wrong... Heh heh heh...

    If, for example, the increasing sunspot activity we're getting could knock out satellites and comms, ... then we'd be so out of practice with practical, involved medical care depending on this type of tech instead of face-to-face support and and practical care what would we do?

    (Pessimistic? Dramatic? Who, moi?)

    But... back in the room now Boombiddy, breathe...

    For those not bothered by wearing this type of tech, it could be worth looking into because if you look at the vids on the link I enc'd in the post, you can see it is going to be quite robust, and will do all the Fitbit stuff as well as the monitoring and emergency stuff. And by helping fund it on Indiegogo, you would get perks which would make it much cheaper.

    Anyway, I have no stake in the company (or any company!), I just get the Indiegogo crowdfunding emails and this looked relevant.

  • Well everybody, I am embarrassed that these iBeat people crashed the party. It was not my intention.

    Is nothing private these days?

  • Sorry Boombiddy. Didn't mean to crash the party. We're in this business to save lives. Hoping to help and inform, that's all :)

  • Hi IBeat a few questions if I may, and we must both be careful here as any form of commercial promotion on this site is forbidden, however as long as we stick to factual question and answer it should be OK. I am going to stick on the Afib side if I may as this is obviously an Afib room. And yes I have read your website to see if these questions were answered first.

    1) For those of us in peristent (24/7) AF can the watch be "programmed" or otherwise told only to look out for variation. Last thing I would want is a continuous alert showing for example. I know I'm in AF it never changes. If it does I need to know.

    2) Our experience with skin contact devices and measurement has been haphazard to be honest, even the chest band/watch type devices often fail to measure an accurate heartrate when one is in AF, I am told because it's hard to know "which pulse to measure") Similarly even those automatic BP monitors so annoying frequently used by the medical profession often get the diastolic BP wrong due to being in AF. So long question summarised as how does your algorithms differ to be able to cope with his? What research has been done on arrythmias and their effect on this form of monitoring?

    3) Those who have paroxysmal AF often simply get on with things during episodes until they feel the HR is getting too high or too severe and then they seek medical attention. Sometimes this is based on individual medical advice to them such as "only go to A & E if lasts more than x hours or your heartrate is constantly over x bpm. Will your software be able to cope with such variations, or potentially have a settings system which could cope with this?

    4) You have probably looked at Kardia, which is a popular (and different) device with AF sufferers, will your dashboard have pdf to doctor type service as well, and be able to hold short and long term trends? Especially thinking here about longer term trends of resting HR for example.

    I will probably think of other questions, so if you want to send me a private message with an email address I will happily send any more thoughts to you.

    Be well

    Ian

  • Ian. Brilliant response. I think that it would be good to post all the questions etc on here since people can see what's said and also then one query or comment may very well trigger others!!! I haven't had time yet to look at site but I am very tech savvy as you know and many a time in my career identified gaps, problems, enhancements, etc

  • Thanks Beancounter, these are really constructive questions that I could not have articulated.

    And PeterWh too, good suggestion. (Your reply to Beancounter got there just ahead of this 'ere reply I'm typing now, hence the edit).

You may also like...