CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA — The morphing of medical devices with consumer electronics continues as, according to a recent report in Med Device Online, Apple has filed a patent for a wearable device capable of collecting electrocardiographic (EKG) signals from various points on the body. This patent may lend credibility to rumors surfacing in early August that Apple was working on a stand-alone health-centric device separate from the Apple watch.
These patents could lead to the production by Apple of multitasking ear level devices, also known as hearables.
Apple’s “Killer New Product”
Citing an article in the Economic Daily News, the Med Device Online writer Suzanne Hodsden reported on August 16th that Apple has been working with Taiwanese technology developers and manufacturers for two years creating a “killer new product” that would measure heart rate, blood sugar, and other health-related data.
Well-known Apple supplier Foxconn as well as others such as TPK, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., and Zhen Ding Technology are said to be involved in the project.
In a patent filed Thursday, August 11th, Apple described a wearable device customized to monitor a person’s EKG measurements.
Two separate electrodes could be placed on different parts of the body, and their position would be determined (by the device) using the earlier calibrations.This process, claims the patent, ensures the accuracy of EKG readings, regardless of the position of the wearable device.
In the patent Apple wrote that “medical practitioners often have to take care as to the placement of the positive electrode and the negative electrode to ensure accurate processing of an electrocardiographic measurement”.
Though the timing of patent coincides with the rumors of various ear level monitoring devices in the development stages, Fortune reported on August 11 that this is not definitive proof the device is truly in development. Tech giants like Apple, argued Fortune, file patents for all kinds of technology that never ends up seeing the light of day.