A couple of years ago, AliveCor launched the KardiaBand which is a strap for the Apple Watch that helps detect abnormal heart rhythms and can also predict strokes. However it appears that the KardiaBand can be used for more than just that because according to the company, they discovered that the KardiaBand can also be used to detect potassium levels.

This information was revealed at the American College of Cardiology conference in Florida by AliveCor CEO Vic Gundotra. This is based on research done with the Mayo Clinic where it shows that the KardiaBand’s technology can also be applied to detect high levels of potassium in a person’s body, which is a medical condition called hyperkalemia.

For those unfamiliar, hyperkalemia can be caused by a variety of medical issues, such as diabetes, dehydration, and chronic kidney disease. It can also lead to kidney and heart failure if left untreated, but since there are no obvious symptoms when it comes to hyperkalemia, it is usually unknown if you have it unless you were to test for it specifically.

Due to too much potassium affecting the electrical activity in our cells, it can also change the electrical reading of the heart, meaning that the KardiaBand can look out for specific EKG patterns that might point to hyperkalemia. That being said even then this isn’t 100% foolproof because according to William J. Brady, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, there are cases with patients who have hyperkalemia who also display a normal EKG.

Now before you get too excited, the FDA has yet to give the KardiaBand the greenlight when it comes to testing for hyperkalemia (it has been given the greenlight to be the first medical device that works with the Apple Watch), although the company could be working towards it through more clinical trials.

Filed in Apple >Gadgets >Medical. Read more about Apple Watch, Health, Smartwatch and Wearable Tech.

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