Smartwatches with a 24/7 heartbeat tracking feature have become a dime a dozen. The more expensive ones come with an ECG feature as well. However, here is one that claims to take things to a new level – the Zio Watch and the ZEUS System, which its makers Verily said can not only detect Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) but can also assist the health care workers in effectively dealing with the same as well.
Verily described the Zio Watch as a wearable having the right sensors that enable it to perform ‘non-invasive, clinical grade, long-term continuous monitoring for AFib.’ The company said their device and the associated platform have received the mandatory FDA clearance and are poised to hit markets in 2023.
All of it started with the Study Watch which Verily said received FDA clearance back in 2019. The watch is able to take ‘on-demand, single-lead ECG to help better understand cardiovascular health’. The latest Zio Watch builds on that further and has evolved into an ‘FDA-cleared prescription-based wrist-worn solution’ that is designed to detect irregular heart rhythms that are typical of AFib.
The ZEUS System again is built to detect the amount of AFib over time, all of which can be critical in assisting the physician to intervene at the right moment, something which can also be lifesaving in an emergency situation. Verily said they devised the Zio Watch and the ZEUS System in partnership with iRhythm, considered a world leader in developing digital solutions that are focussed on cardiac care.
The Zio Watch is also a step ahead of its competitor in that it is not only efficient in detecting AFib but also alerts the clinician when something amiss is detected. This way, the clinician can begin evasive and other preventive procedures earlier than would have otherwise possible. This is quite unlike other smartwatches which stop at sounding an alarm, leaving it to the user to get in touch with the clinician.
As Verily stated, the Zio Watch works using continuous photoplethysmography (PPG) – something that measures ‘light absorption through the skin to determine blood volume–to detect irregularities in the heartbeat.’ If a significant deviation from normal is detected, an intimation is sounded to the clinician automatically.
Aiding the Zio Watch is the ZEUS System that relies on advanced PPG-based algorithms for early detection of AFib. iThythm stated the system has been designed after careful analysis of what it describes as the ‘world’s largest repository of labeled ECG patient data’.
‘The algorithms in the ZEUS System use a novel cloud-based neural network to summarize AFib burden across an extended wear period, delivering clinically meaningful and context-rich reports to clinicians–a significant improvement over reports that simply provide a window into a single moment in time,’ Verily described on its site.
About 30 million Americans are estimated to have AFib by 2030. It is a condition characterized by irregular beating of the upper atria, something that can cause disruption in the blood flow. Visible symptoms of such a condition include fatigue and chest palpitations that can even result in stroke as well. As it is, AFib is believed to be the cause of 1 out of 7 strokes.
Fortunately, the condition is treatable with proper medication and can even be prevented with lifestyle changes. However, since an AFib is often episodic, proper detection of the same is can be elusive unless an ECG is done while the arrhythmia is in progress. It is for this reason that the Zio Watch and the ZEUS System become relevant and can even be lifesaving as well. You can have more info on the Zio Watch and ZEUS System here.
With a keen interest in tech, I make it a point to keep myself updated on the latest developments in the world of technology and gadgets. That includes smartphones or tablet devices but stretches to even AI and self-driven automobiles as well, the latter being my latest fad. Besides writing, I like watching videos, reading, listening to music, or experimenting with different recipes. Motion picture is another aspect that interests me a lot and maybe I’ll make a film sometime in the future.