HeartBit has revealed a piece of smart clothing that aims to provide medical-grade heart rate monitoring to exercisers.
The wearable, which comprises of a chest strap that fits onto a specially designed training top, is able to measure electrical signals produced by the heart when it beats. This then allows HeartBit to interpret the data and report on stress levels.
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According to the Hungarian startup, its connected garment is able to detect early signs of heart arrythmia, atrial fibrillation and other potential anomalies with a user's ticker when worn during exercise. And if one of these conditions is suspected, the wearer is alerted to the signs immediately, and, over time, the HeartBit app builds a profile using the heart data and gives workout recommendations based on the heart's status and the desired goal.
The latter feature - using heart rate data to personalise training - isn't anything new, of course, but the difference here is that the data picked up is through ECG monitoring. Though sports watches from the likes of Garmin offer convenient heart rate monitoring and provide insights into recovery, the technology isn't always the most accurate when compared to a chest strap.
But HeartBit is trying to take this a step further, still. Its wearable is able to process 10,000 data points every second, using machine learning to help build the aforementioned heart profile and enable personalised training plans. That's in comparison to the one or two data points per second you'll find through a typical chest strap, the company says. And in order to power the wild amount of data being pulled in, the startup has partnered with IBM and will take advantage of its Watson and Cloud services.
As is the case with any wearable looking to bring ECG tracking to the fore, the big question here is over accuracy. While it all sounds impressive on paper, developing a device that detects serious heart conditions is difficult, and generally requires FDA approval.
With HeartBit still being worked on, there's no details with regard to launch date or pricing, but here's hoping that its able to cut through the traffic of ECG monitors beginning to enter the space and provide a wearable that can help frequent exercisers stay on top of their health and their training.
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