Apple’s Alternative Facts And The Giant Watch Restaurant Next Door To AliveCor

As I pointed out Friday,  Apple’s claim that the ECG sensor on their new Apple Watch 4  (available “later this year”) is  “the First ECG product offered over the counter directly to consumers” is totally bogus.

AliveCor’s Kardia mobile ECG device was approved by the FDA  for over the counter direct to consumer sales on February 10, 2014. Apple had to have known this as they worked with AliveCor to bring the first Apple Watch based ECG device to FDA approval in 2017.

I tried but failed to get AliveCor founder Dr. David Albert’s thoughts on Apple’s disinformation but Yahoo finance was able to speak to Vic Gundotra, the CEO of AliveCor:

Over at the headquarters of AliveCor, a startup based in Google’s hometown of Mountain View, they, too, were surprised by the announcement, CEO Vic Gundotra said in a phone interview on Thursday. Gundotra is a former Googler, widely known as the executive behind the Google+ social network.

Specifically, Gundotra says that his company was confused by Apple’s claims that the Series 4 will be the first over-the-counter ECG testing device for consumers. AliveCor is a 49-employee startup that makes over-the-counter ECG testing devices and software, including an FDA-cleared band for the Apple Watch, called KardiaBand, and a version that attaches to a smartphone, called Kardia.

Gundotra was also surprised by Apple’s claims of ECG primacy

“We were watching [the announcement], and we were surprised,” Gundotra said. “It was amazing, it was like us being on stage, with the thing we’ve been doing for 7 years,” referring to AliveCor’s product for detecting atrial fibrillation  (AFib), a tough-to-spot heart disorder that manifests as an irregular, often quick heart rate that can cause poor circulation.

“Although when they said they were first to go over-the-counter, we were surprised,” he continued. “Apple doesn’t like to admit they copy anyone, even in the smallest things. Their own version of alternative facts.”

One man’s alternative fact is another (less polite) man’s lie.

Gundotra apparently views Apple’s entry as a good thing

“We love that Apple is validating AFib; just wait until you see what AliveCor is going to do next,” he said. “We were a great restaurant in a remote section of town, and someone just opened a giant restaurant right next to us, bringing a lot more attention.”

And as I pointed out previously, the AliveCor mobile ECG device (not the Kardia Band) is significantly cheaper than an Apple Watch and has multiple studies showing its accuracy. Interestingly, Gundotra indicates AliveCor sales has increased after the Apple announcement,.

“Ours is $99, theirs is $399, our sales popped yesterday, big time,”

Antialternafactively Yours,

-ACP

8 thoughts on “Apple’s Alternative Facts And The Giant Watch Restaurant Next Door To AliveCor”

  1. i purchased the Kardio band a few months in hopes of using it with the Apple 4 watch. Can i or do i need to buy an older modtl.

    1. It should work with Apple 4 Watch. I’ll double check with the company but my understanding is that all apps will seamlessly transfer from older
      Apple Watches to the newer. (Unless Apple does something to sabotage AliveCor)

  2. Looking up the compatibility lists, I see Kardia supports more of the older Android phones than Apple.
    Yet another good reason to use a dedicated device (Kardia) for a serious purpose rather than an expensive, multi-function gadget that invariably is a compromise.

  3. I was quite frustrated seeing that, as well.

    It was also surprising to see the tweets from stock analysts who know very little about EKGs and medicine. They seemed to think a single-lead EKG is a miracle-worker that diagnoses “heart disease”—quite a broad category.

    I’m still waiting on the QardioCore (continuous EKG monitor) which has been approved in Europe but not by the FDA yet.

    1. John,
      Yes. The device is particularly useful when used in conjunction with a physician pre and post electrical shock for atrial fibrillation. My office can provide you information on connecting with me through the cloud

  4. This (releasing a feature not ready at launch, and without having resolved differences with Alivecor, one way or the other, collab or anti) would not have happened under Steve Jobs. Generally speaking, Apple product quality has slowly gone downhill, good short term for profits, not so long term.
    I can see now Alivecor pushing harder to work with Android, maybe Samsung and Microsoft who need to catch up on medical tech.

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