This Smart Watch Detects Cardiac Arrest, and Summons Help

The new iBeat Heart Watch raises the alert if your heart rate falters

Consumers have proven fickle about wearables: Many a well-intentioned person has started out enthusiastic about a Fitbit, only to dump it in a drawer after a few months. But iBeat, the startup behind the iBeat Heart Watch, is betting that people will be more faithful to their wearable devices if their lives are on the line. 

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If you saw someone wearing this new smartwatch, which launched last week, you’d assume they were using it for the quaint purpose of telling time. Its true purpose would be apparent only if the watch’s sensors detected the telltale signs of cardiac arrest.

Then the dial hands on the watch face would be replaced by a stark question: “Are you okay?” Two big touch-screen buttons allow the user to either respond “yes,” in which case the watch goes back to being a watch and life goes on, or “no,” in which case the watch sends an alert to the user’s emergency contacts and also notifies the iBeat dispatch office, which can place a call to emergency responders.  

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