Portable ECG monitors next to hit US market driven by 27% of the population owning a wearable device by 2024, says GlobalData

Innovative technology companies such as Apple, AliveCor, Qardio and Withings are pushing to release electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring devices to access the growing US wearables market. However, these ECGs will not replace doctor’s visits until technology improves and more clinical evidence has been gathered for data accuracy, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Wearable devices are gaining huge traction. GlobalData estimates that 13.8% of the US population aged 12–100 owned a wrist-worn wearable in 2018, and that this ownership will almost double to reach 27% by 2024.

Ashley Young, Medical Device Analyst at GlobalData, says, “This is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12% between 2018 and 2024, driven by an increased focus on patient-centered, preventative healthcare.”

ECG tests are usually carried out in hospitals, physician offices or lab clinic settings to detect heart abnormalities. Portable ECGs allow patients to self-monitor the heart’s electrical activity.

Young continues, “In 2012, AliveCor received FDA 510(k) clearance for its medical device and smartphone app combination that was designed to record, store, transfer and evaluate single-channel ECG readings. Since then, AliveCor has added more diagnostic functionality, and is FDA approved to detect atrial fibrillation (Afib), brachycardia and tachycardia. It is being sold across North America and Europe.”

More recently, Apple has entered the portable, personal ECG market with its Apple Watch Series 4. It received FDA 510(k) clearance for ECG functionality in 2018.

Young adds, “The advantage of Apple’s device is its integration with other built-in health features such as an activity tracker, a fall detector and a menstrual tracker. However, since it is newer to market, the Apple Watch ECG function is currently only commercially available in the US and some countries in Europe, with further global releases planned in the future.”

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