Apple being sued by a doctor over Atrial Fibrillation feature in Watch

The US based Cardiologist, Dr. Joseph Wiesel from New York University, has filed a lawsuit against Apple for patent infringement. He alleged Apple for willfully violating his patent surrounding the technology used in Apple watches to detect Atrial Fibrillation.

Dr. Wiesel was awarded the patent for “Method and apparatus for detecting Atrial Fibrillation” on 28th March 2006. This method allows the patients to use photoplethysmography, the technology which is used in the Apple watch with green light and sensors.

According to the lawsuit, the patent was the pioneering step in Atrial fibrillation detection. Dr. Wiesel says that he notified Apple about the patent on September 20, 2017, before the release of it’s Apple Smartwatch 3. Apple is alleged for refusing to negotiate in good faith even after Dr. Wiesel provided the detailed claim chart highlighting the elements of his patent claims and mapping them to elements of Apple’s Watch products. The lawsuit also claims that Apple’s patent infringement is willful, intentional, and deliberate.

Apple being sued by a doctor over Atrial Fibrillation Technology in Watch
Apple being sued by a doctor over Atrial Fibrillation Technology in Watch

Besides, Dr. Wiesel has also demanded legal fees, royalties, and recovery for past damages from Apple. The lawsuit was filed in Federal court in Brooklyn, and Apple is yet to respond.

The Apple Watch gives an idea about the irregularities in heartbeats that lead to blood clotting in arteries, which then embellishes to the brain and can cause a stroke. But the watch does not give a confirmation on whether the person is suffering from Atrial Fibrillation or not.

In the Apple Watch Series 4 and afterward, electrodes are built into the back crystals and digital crown. These electrodes work together with the ECG app to enable the customers to take an ECG reading similar to a single-lead reading.

The user just has to hold the digital crown to complete the circuit, and they can record their ECG by measuring electrical signals across their hearts. After 30 seconds, the heart rhythm is classified as sinus rhythm, Atrial fibrosis, or inconclusive.

This irregular rhythm notification feature study of Apple was the largest screening study on Atrial Fibrillation worldwide, with over 400.000 participants. It is said that around 1% of the world population suffers from Atrial fibrosis, although accurate estimates are lacking.

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Via – Engadget