AliveCor already offers the first FDA-approved EKG reader for Apple Watch with its Kardiaband system, and a new study shows how that hardware may be capable of even more medical achievements.

A new Cleveland Clinic Study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 67th Annual Scientific Session reveals that AliveCor’s EKG system can be used to detect a condition called hyperkalemia.

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AliveCor touts the study’s findings that it’s able to achieve “non-invasive detection of high potassium levels in blood” through its EKG reader when paired with artificial intelligence technology. No needles or pricking your skin, just passive detection.

The study used over 2 million ECGs linked with 4 million serum potassium values collected between 1994 to 2017, as well as prospective data from an AliveCor smartphone ECG device, to develop an AI algorithm to detect hyperkalemia. The sensitivity for hyperkalemia detection ranged between 90 to 94 percent.

Kardiaband customers won’t have access to hyperkalemia detection just yet, but AliveCor hopes it can commercialize the feature in the future following the new findings. As for the health impact of shipping non-invasive hyperkalemia detection to customers, AliveCor describes potentially being able to use the tool  as a way to catch untreated conditions including diabetes.

Hyperkalemia is commonly associated with congestive heart failure, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and with the medications used to treat these conditions. The condition, associated with significant mortality and arrhythmic risk, is often missed because it is frequently asymptomatic, making detection of hyperkalemia challenging. Until now, the only means of testing for hyperkalemia was through a blood test.

While this is only a first step in bringing non-invasive hyperkalemia detection to the masses, AliveCor has a proven track record for not only shipping medical breakthroughs but doing so with the right regulatory approval to make it matter, so we’ll stay tuned.

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