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The FDA Approves the First EKG Reader for Apple Watch

November 30, 2017, 7:35 PM UTC

A new feature is coming to the Apple Watch—the FDA has approved the first EKG reader for the gadget.

The medical device is the first approved for the wearable and was made by AliveCor, a company led by the former head of Google+, Vic Gundotra. The Verge reports that the device pairs with an app and can detect things like abnormal heart rhythm and atrial fibrillation.

It’s called the KardiaBand, and predicts and analyzes someone’s heart rate based on data it’s gathered from both sick and healthy people. Instead of determining whether your heart rate or rhythm is good or bad based on generic standards, it looks at what might be abnormal for you personally.

The idea is that KardiBand can detect when your heart is behaving in an unusual way for you and can alert health care professionals. Having a device that tells you your heart rate is high means nothing if your heart rate is typically higher than the average. This device hopes to personalize the data.

Apple plans to use data collected from the device in its Apple Heart Study research.

You can purchase a KardiaBand for $199. Using the device requires a subscription to AliveCor’s premium service at an additional cost of $99 per year. For those who don’t own an Apple Watch, the company also sells a similar $99 device called KardiaMobile that connects to the back of your smartphone.