While many wearables and health trackers on the market are capable of tracking heart rate, devices that can detect when there’s an emergency are extremely rare. With the iBeat Heart Watch, which is now available for purchase, users can wear it to not only monitor for cardiac emergencies but to alert first responders when there’s something wrong.
Think of the iBeat Heart Watch as an alternative to Life Alert that’s far better-looking and capable of more. Under the hood of the watch are optical sensors that continuously track a users’ heart rate, along with pulse strength, blood flow, and changes in oxygen — which alerts users when their heart or blood circulation begins to slow down or abruptly stops.
With those sensors, the Heart Watch can recognize when someone has gone into cardiac arrest. If a user is unconscious or unresponsive for more than 10 seconds, iBeat’s 24-hour dispatch team is notified, along with first responders and emergency contacts that the user lists. Thanks to built-in GPS and cellular LTE, both responders and contacts are notified of the user’s exact location.
The companion app features a user dashboard that works in real time to track overall health, activity levels, and a history of any incidents via the watch. You can also input information about any medication you’re on, allergies you have, and any other conditions, which paramedics will already be informed of upon arriving at the scene. This is also where you can set up emergency contacts, who will be alerted via a text message and provided with your current location whenever there’s a cardiac emergency.
You’ll also have access to the Heart Hero Network, which is an app that anyone can download to learn CPR. Once someone goes through its vigorous training, they’ll then be alerted via a push notification if you’re ever in need of assistance while waiting for first responders to arrive. A second person in your area will also receive a notification and will be directed to pick up a defibrillator nearby.
If the issue isn’t as dire, there’s also an Emergency Help Button on the device that can be pressed to get help from emergency services or family and friends. This will prompt the question “Are you OK?” If a user replies “No,” they can choose from several responses including “I’m in danger,” “I’m hurt,” or “I’m bleeding.”
In a demo with iBeat, we got to see the watch in person and thought it looked rather sleek. While the case itself was a bit thick, it fit comfortably on our wrists and felt rather light. It’s also versatile enough that it doesn’t look odd wearing it to the gym or even an evening out. We like that the emergency button is tucked away enough that it’s not an eyesore while also being easily accessible when needed. There’s a variety of watch faces to tailor the watch to your outfit or look. We found the display to be extremely responsive when swiping between menus.
When it comes to battery, the iBeat Heart Watch will last about four days and comes with a charging dock to put the device on when it runs out of juice. But since the device is designed to protect you at all times, there’s also a small battery pack that can be clipped to the watch that holds up to two full charges. Regardless of whether you charge it using the dock or the clip, both will take only an hour to bring the watch back up to 100 percent.
If you’re interested in purchasing the iBeat Heart Watch, it’s available via iBeat’s site. The device will cost you $249, while the app costs $17 per month.