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  • AliveCor makes a portable EKG reader — the kind of electric heart monitoring that’s standard in hospitals.
  • The Apple Watch has a built-in heart rate reader, but it’s not clinical grade and its readings can’t be used by doctors.
  • AliveCor’s new product is a custom band for the Apple Watch with a built-in EKG sensor, and it and its software has been approved by the FDA, its CEO says.

The Apple Watch has a heart rate sensor that has reportedly been saving lives, but it doesn’t return the kind of data a doctor needs to really assess what’s wrong with a patient.

Doctors looking to diagnose heart issues require what’s called an electrocardiogram test, or EKG for short — not readings from an optical heart rate sensor like those found on most wearables.

Now AliveCor, a private medical health company headquartered in Mountain View, California, is releasing a new Apple Watch band that has a built-in EKG sensor. According to CEO Vic Gundotra, it’s the first-ever medical accessory for a wearable that’s been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

“We live in a world where consumers want to know every minute what’s going on [in their bodies] and for the first time they can have a medical, clinical-grade, FDA-cleared tool,” Gundotra said.

Vic Gundotra, CEO (1).JPGAliveCor is calling the device KardiaBand. It costs $200 and is on sale from Amazon and AliveCor’s site, and you don’t need a recommendation for a doctor to use it — it’s meant for consumers, and anyone who might want to keep a closer watch on their heart or those concerned with heart issues like sinus heart rhythms or atrial fibrillation.

“The average consumer doesn’t know what a normal sinus rhythm looks like or what atrial fibrillation looks like. Yet the FDA has cleared our Read More Here