The iBeat Heart Watch looks and functions like an everyday watch – but inside is what sets it apart from any other wearable or health tracker on the market today.
The watch monitors heart beat and blood flow, giving advance warning the wearer may be about to suffer a cardiac emergency.
iBeat – which describes itself as “a health-tech company empowering people to live longer” – cites Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data which shows someone in the US suffers from a cardiac emergency every 43 seconds.
“We’ve spent the past two years building a breakthrough product that is incomparable to anything on the market,” said Ryan Howard, founder and CEO of San Francisco-headquartered iBeat. “Starting today, we are eliminating the stigma of, ‘Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,’ and are empowering people to age gracefully, while feeling fearless, exploring, and living longer.
“We truly believe this mission and product will disrupt the $6 billion-dollar personal emergency response system (PERS) industry and turn it on its head.”
The iBeat Heart Watch will engage the wearer and can notify first responders for immediate medical aid if something appears to be wrong. It might look like a normal watch, but inside it has sensors that measure not only blood flow and heart rate, but other biometrics which it analyses in real time using artificial intelligence to look for potentially worrisome abnormalities.
If it senses something is not quite right, it will first engage the wearer, asking if everything is okay. If the user confirms the need for help or does not respond, the Heart Watch will automatically connect to the iBeat’s 24-hour dispatch team, who can send the appropriate help – emergency medical services, police, firefighters, friends or family. The watch also has an emergency button that can be pressed at any time to get users emergency or non-emergency aid.
The iBeat Heart Watch does not need to be paired with a smartphone or WiFi connection to work: It comes with its own built-in cellular functionality that can send and receive calls for help. It also has a built-in GPS helping first responders quickly and easily locate the wearer.
Howard says that while the iBeat Heart Watch is intended for use as an everyday watch or for those with a heart concern, it is also an ideal replacement and upgrade from the antiquated medical alert devices currently on the market. Most medical alert systems are pendants that brand the user as sick or elderly and require the user to stay tethered to a base station – unable to be used outside the home. They do not have the ability to measure cardiac parameters or automatically call for help. In contrast, the iBeat Heart Watch is a stylish watch that gives users the freedom to go anywhere they want, whenever they want, and keeps them within reach of immediate emergency or non-emergency aid, he says.
iBeat is seeking US FDA approval for the use of the watch as a medical device and recently partnered with two large life insurers and reinsurers, Transamerica and SCOR Global Life, to extend longevity.
The iBeat Heart Watch is currently for sale at www.ibeat.com for US$249, with monthly monitoring starting at $17. Users who pre-purchase a yearly monitoring plan will save $41 on the service. iBeat also offers zero-per cent financing.