There are Apple Watches and Fitbits. Then there are the medic alert system medallions. The former has a sleek, stylish design. The latter, well…
If you’re going to wear health jewelry, you want it to be like any other accessory or piece you would buy—something that makes you feel good and suits your style. Which is why design might be a key component of a necklace designed to monitor heart health.
Researchers in Finland recently designed and tested a necklace to monitor atrial fibrillation, the most common type of heart arrhythmia that affects roughly 2.7 million Americans.
The necklace features a portable electrocardiogram (EKG) that can transmit heart readings to a cellphone app that can immediately be shared with patients and physicians. All the user has to do is turn on the app and hold the pendant between their palms, or their palm and chest, for 30 seconds.
Data so far suggests it is between 95%–100% accurate, but that some larger studies need to be done to determine whether it is fit for the market. Of course, price point and design will be a major concern.
Tracking A-fib can help prevent blood clots, stroke, heart failure, and other heart-related conditions. People with it are generally checked out by their doctor regularly, but a self-monitoring device can save plenty of time and money.
It will have to be something people want to wear, and for the right price. People spend hundreds of dollars on Apple Watches that serve several purposes, so it is unlikely they will spend the same amount on a product that only does one thing.
Further, if it blatantly looks like a piece of equipment, it’s highly unlikely you’d want to wear one. But a sleek, stylish design that makes you feel good? Well, that’s another story.
If you have A-fib, stay tuned for more news on these devices. It might not be this year, but they could be available relatively soon. In the meantime, keep up with your heart-healthy habits and monitoring your condition to reduce the risk of stroke.