Ryan Howard and Dr. Mehmet Oz have partnered to release a new heart rate monitoring smartwatch. The iBeat Life Monitor is touted to be able to detect “signs of oncoming cardiac arrest.”
It supposedly is able to do this via photoplethysmography, a way of using a pulse oximeter to measure the variation of the blood volume in the distal vessels, and to extrapolate volume of blood pumped by the heart.
We are a bit skeptical as this technology has its limitations, including accuracy problems during physical activity and measurements being affected by other physiological parameters such as breathing.
When it detects a problem, the watch sounds an alarm asking if the user is “OK”. If there’s no response or the user pushes the “No” button, the watch will dial emergency services and family members.