AS HEARD ON WTAG: New Cardiac Technology Approved by FDA – Apple Watch: AS HEARD ON – WTAG NewsRadio 580 [12-05-17]

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With Jim Polito today, talking about the latest in Apple’s iWatch. An FDA approved app for the Apple’s iWatch that has the feature of monitoring users with cardiac problem.

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Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.


Airing date: 12/05/2017


New Cardiac Technology Approved By FDA – Apple Watch



Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] Quick shout out to all my friends in Mass. I was on with Jim Polito this morning, central and western Mass. and parts of Boston, Rhode Island, Vermont, and of course Connecticut as well. And we talked about a new feature available for your Apple Watch. Do you have cardiac issues or maybe somebody that you know? Did you know that there has just now been approved by the FDA a new feature for the Apple Watch that can help with cardiac problems. Here we go with Jim.

Jim Polito: [00:00:35] Here he is. The man. Oh, he keeps us in line. He keeps us smart. And at the end of this segment I’m going to give you. Well he’s going to give you a number to text my name to and all the information we discussed plus a whole lot more will come to you. And let’s get him right on board. Our good friend, our Tech Talk guru, Craig Peterson. Good morning sir.

Craig: [00:01:01] Hey, good morning.


Jim: [00:01:03] How are you today?


Craig: [00:01:04] I’m doing really well. It’s been a great season. Had a good Thanksgiving. Looking forward to the kids coming home for Christmas and stuff. Yeah, I love this time of year. So I’m not a summer fan anyway.

Jim: [00:01:17] Well I know because you’re Canadian. Right. And summer lasts for two weeks up there. So anyway. So your health feels good right?

Craig: [00:01:25] It is. I am better now than I was 15, 20 years ago.

Jim: [00:01:29] All right so you wouldn’t really need to have a daily EKG performed by your Apple Watch.

Craig: [00:01:37] No. This is a really interesting problem that’s being addressed here. You know that for a decade I was a volunteer paramedic.

Jim: [00:01:45] Yes I remember that. Yeah. Good for you.

Craig: [00:01:49] And my wife as well. And we had the equipment there on the ambulance that we could read heart rhythms and decide what to do. You know there’s different types of treatments that you can give someone depending on what the heart rhythm is. And you’re probably familiar with at least a hospital version or some doctors’ offices have what’s called a 12-Lead.

Jim: [00:02:14] Yeah that’s what I was talking to Danny about when we were promoing your segment is that I get one I think in my annual exam. I don’t have any heart issues but I think because of my age they do it. And yeah you have to do it on your ankles and you know on your on your chest. Yeah, a bunch of wires.

Craig: [00:02:36] Right. Yeah. A whole bunch of wires. And the idea is they want to be able to basically listen to all the different parts of your heart, right? That’s kind of the bottom line. And in the ambulance we wouldn’t get that fancy typically. You know we didn’t have a 12-Lead in our volunteer ambulance squad. But we would go in and had to hook you up and you can kind that you can get an EKG more or less with as little as two lead. And you get a good idea of what’s going on and we weren’t looking for like sloping T-waves or things if we want to get really fancy. We’re just looking at the rhythm because you don’t tell a lot from very simple stuff. Well the Apple Watch has on the back of its sensors and people know about those sensors. And in fact Apple put sensors into the Apple Watch that are just absolutely amazing. They can do all kinds of things. Even detecting the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream.

Jim: [00:03:35] You mean like that thing they put on your finger in the ER.


Craig: [00:03:39] Exactly.


Jim: [00:03:40] That little thing that gives like your oxygen saturation.

Craig: [00:03:42] Yeah exactly. So it can do all of this stuff. However, Apple has not done much with any of it. In fact they do not even allow applications access to some of these sensors that are on the Apple Watch which include that oxygen saturation thing. You know because it is not a medical device. Now if you release a medical device you have to jump through hoops like you would not believe.

Jim: [00:04:13] Well you have to get FDA approval right?

Craig: [00:04:16] Exactly. So they have to look at it if  they have to figure out you know is this going to hurt someone or harm someone or potential allergens used here that could cause all kinds of different other problems. Right. So Apple has just steered clear of it and said hey, listen. This is not a medical device. However you can look up accessories to your Apple Watch and most of those accessories have been built into bands. So you replace the band on your watch, OK, with another type of band and you can get extended battery life and all kinds of other sensors. So now there’s a company out there called Alivecor, A-L-I-V-E-C-O-R. And the CEO is a former executive from Google. And this particular band is an EKG reader. Now this is kind of interesting because the user touches the sensor, it snaps into a slot on the watch’s band and gives an EKG reading in about 30 seconds. And then that reading can be sent to the doctor. So you know as we go forward here there’s more and more outpatient stuff being done right. People have sensors. They send the information to the doctor. And this is just really kind of one more sensor. But there are some really interesting twists to this particular one that can keep your doctor up to date on your cardiac rhythm. So if you’re on certain meds and things and the doctor wants to keep a close eye on your heart this is just a godsend.

Jim: [00:06:06] We’re talking with Craig Peterson, our Tech Talk guru. And as I said at the end of the segment we’ll have some, we’ll have a number for you to text my name to get other information. We’ll explain all that to you at the end of this segment. OK. Now. The question is and you are the one who told me, Hey Jim, I think it was 2016 you said Jim. 2016 is going to be the year the medical hack and you are right. Medical records being hacked. OK. What about, what about this information, the security of this information. Not that I really care if someone could read my EKG hack, a hacker, but you know it’s that whole protection of your private information.

Craig: [00:06:56] Yeah and remember this is not an Apple device right. This is from these Alivecor guys. So your medical information is going from the watchband into an app that runs on your Apple Watch. Now it’s inexpensive, the band is only 200 bucks and the service costs 100 bucks a year. So it’s not very expensive. But it’s an app running on the watch that sends the data to this company who then sends it off to your doctor. Now I’m really happy with what Apple’s done with security. The Apple iPhone and other devices, iOS particularly, have just been incredible with their security. However third party apps sending data elsewhere becomes more of a problem. As you pointed out with an EKG, it’s you know, OK, there’s some valuable data there but it’s not terribly valuable right? I’d be more worried about the doctor having my other information you know my name, my number, my Social Security number. Yeah. Exactly. However there are also other devices that are out there that are remote controlled such as implanted cardiac devices. Automatic Defib units.

Jim: [00:08:19] You’re right. Oh I know people with them. Yeah. They dial in and send the information over the phone to their doctor on a regular basis.


Craig: [00:08:30] And the doctor can adjust the settings in that internally implanted device.

Jim: [00:08:36] Right.

Craig: [00:08:37] And what’s happened recently here, this was within the last couple of months Jim, is a major vulnerability was found in pacemakers. A remote attack vulnerability. And people have to update the software in their pacemakers. How’s that for scary, right? You know you update your Windows machine you’re taking your chances here but now you’re taking your life into your hands. And there was, I think it was 24. Didn’t they have a part of one of the series where there was a congressman or something.


Jim: [00:09:10] Yeah, there was some kind of an assassination attempt or something like that, yeah.


Craig: [00:09:15] Using a pacemaker the guy had. So this is more and more, you know we’re, I had this discussion the other day Jim, and I think everyone needs to kind of think about this because you’re leaning towards something I think is a really, really important point. We can do this technology. We can make self-driving cars. We can make cars that brake automatically if they detect a potential collision. We can do all of these things. And of course you know the real question here. Should we?

Jim: [00:09:48] Should we. Well you know, the famous line from Jurassic Park and I mean it was actually in the book too, which is while you were trying to figure out if you could do this. You never really thought should we do this. 

Craig: [00:10:04] Exactly. And that’s this particular device. Heck if I had a cardiac issue I would get it. One of the beautiful things about this device and the software Jim, is it doesn’t just look at the norm for someone’s heart rhythm. It monitors yours and tells you and your doctor when your rhythm is off.

Jim: [00:10:28] Right. So as opposed to looking at just standard markers. It would say well no, this is what’s normal for Jim. This is not normal for Jim.

Craig: [00:10:40] Exactly right. And that can save lives. So that’s the other part of all of these, right? Should we because it saves lives. Yeah I think we should but I’m still reluctant. You know if I was 80 years old probably that autonomous car would be fantastic. But at this stage at this age it’s not like I would look into this again. It’s up on my Web site you can find some really good information about it. But it’s absolutely phenomenal. We’ve never had this type of tech before.

Jim: [00:11:13] Alright so let’s get people the number that can get information on this and then an information on a whole bunch of other things. And then you know when there’s a world emergency and a massive hack Craig Peterson will be able to get you the information quickly. And he will not annoy you, he will not badger you, he will not sell your phone number. So the number is to text my name, Jim, to is what?

Craig: [00:11:43] 855-385-5553. That’s 855-385-5553.


Jim: [00:11:54] And don’t forget standard data and text rates apply. Craig sage advice there. And I think something very, very interesting for folks who would say I don’t really need an Apple Watch. And then when you see this kind of an application you say oh, maybe I do. Maybe there is something there for me. And maybe by getting it and doing that maybe they’ll find there’s other things the watch can do. Well, we’ll see. But Craig always a pleasure to speak with you. We look forward to talking with you next week.


Craig: [00:12:24] Alright. Take care. Bye-bye.


Jim: [00:12:26] Take care. Craig Peterson everyone. A great resource OK. Don’t go anywhere.



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