Skip to main content

AliveCor shows Apple Watch ultrasonic ECG heart monitoring wrist band, plans 2016 launch


AliveCor, maker of the iPhone-compatible Mobile ECG cardiac monitoring accessory (reviewed here), has unveiled a new Apple Watch version that can be worn as a wrist band. The tentatively-titled Apple Watch ECG goes beyond the heart rate sensor built into the Apple Watch, adding a two-electrode electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor directly into a flexible wristband similar in appearance to Apple’s Sport Band.

Combined with a native watchOS 2 app, the Apple Watch ECG can graph the wearer’s heart beat over extended periods of time, as well as recording heart activity and voice annotations (“I feel like my heart just skipped a beat”) simultaneously, a feature not found on the iPhone version. Additionally, thanks to the new accessory’s guaranteed position on the wrist, it “may be able to detect an upcoming event using continuous monitoring,” AliveCor notes. Like the iPhone version, AliveCor’s Apple Watch app will also be able to send annotated ECG readings directly to a technician or doctor for interpretation.

Rather than connecting to the Apple Watch using Bluetooth or the Watch’s hidden data port, Apple Watch ECG uses the same ultrasonic technology as the iPhone accessory, leveraging the Watch’s microphone to receive ECG data transmissions. This reduces the battery-powered accessory’s power consumption by 92% versus Bluetooth, while offering superior data bandwidth. Pending FDA approval, the Apple Watch ECG is currently planned for a 2016 release, and expected to sell for around $199. A video of the new wristband accessory in action is below…

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel


  1. Robert Clark - 7 years ago

    Funny how she has to press the on screen “buttons” of the watch multiple times to get them to work. I experience this with a lot of apps on my Apple Watch too.

    • oakie - 7 years ago

      same when i first got mine but noticed if i press a little harder, my hit rate has neared 100%. the problem i’ve noticed is that with a smaller screen, one tends to tap more lightly in hopes of being more accurate with the tiny screen. if you ignore that instinct, you’ll find it works better and selections are just as accurate.

  2. RP - 7 years ago

    I haven’t bought one yet, but will definitely buy next years version. The watch is going to be a must have and get better and better.

  3. KenC - 7 years ago

    Can’t wait. Seems like the obvious thing to do to combine the AliveCor with the Watch, as opposed to the back of the iPhone.

  4. Currently the Britains NHS uses a Holter Monitor when patients with suspected heart problems need to be checked for 24-48 hour continuous ambulatory ECG instead of the “snapshot” versions done in hospitals by a technician. With a Holter Monitor when a patient feels a heart anomaly like palpitations they have to note the time and write down on a pad their experience. Then the notes and the Holter Monitor are collected and sent to a technician for reading and interpretation. If this device wins FDA approval it will “change everything”.