First Thoughts on Kardia Band

I received my Kardia Band yesterday and thought I would share some my first impressions. This is not an extensive review, just my observations from using the Kardia Band for a day.

The Kardia Band is an FDA approved band for the Apple Watch which enables EKG readings and displays on the watch. It also monitors your heart rate to warn you of possible rhythm problems such as A-Fib. I thought this would be a nice addition to the watch since I have been converted out of A-Flutter and A-Fib multiple times.

The installation of the band was no big deal. It just slides right in like all other Apple Watch bands. The iPhone only software is in the App Store. When you open the software you are prompted to open an account with AliveCor, the maker of the band. This is not a product for you if you are obsessed with privacy. They collect data which they claim is anonymized. Your first EKG is submitted to their medical folks for analysis which can take up to 24 hours. You won’t see your first EKG until the review is completed. You will also have to enable the watch microphone for the EKG as it sends out ultrasonic data to the watch.

Recording an EKG can be tricky. My skin is dry so I sometimes have to wet the wrist area beneath the pad on the band. Once I figured out I needed to wet the area I had no problem recording the EKG. I also found out it helps to not be in an area with a lot of sound. Turn down the music. Wait until the concert has a  break. A noisy restaurant may also be a problem if there are sharp sounds like banging. I think it has to do with the ultrasonic sounds they use.

Now let’s talk about battery usage. I have a Series 3 watch which I usually need to charge every two to three days. With the Kardia Band the battery uses about 40% every 12 hours. This is due to the Workout app being activated at all times to enable the heart rate to be continuously monitored. This in not a problem for me as I don’t wear the watch while sleeping.

In conclusion, I think the Kardia Band is a good investment ($200!) for me because of my history of heart rhythm problems. You really need to visit the AliveCor website for all the details. Pay particular attention to their Premium plan and the benefits and $100 per year cost.

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