Heart disease and stroke rank among the top five causes of death in the United States, according to the latest figures from the CDC. Heart disease is in the unenviable first position on the list and stroke is number five. We have written about a variety of wearable form factors and products that monitor heart health including the Cova Monitoring device and iRhythm Technologies’ ZIO XT service based on a wearable patch.

Cambridge Heartwear, founded by Cambridge cardiologist and cardiology MIT fellow Dr. Rameen Shakur, announced the company’s launch and the planned release of its Heartsense monitor in 2019. Heartsense is a wirelessly chargeable device designed to be worn in contact with the chest. The monitor continuously monitors real-time heart rhythms with 3-point ECGs, pulse oximetry, and core body temperature. Patients can choose to release their heart data to their physician immediately or hold the data until a later time. According to the company, the waterproof Heartsense is ergonomically shaped to the body and is more comfortable to wear than conventional monitors. Cambridge Heartwear uses artificial intelligence to detect irregularities and automatically interpret the data for both patients and physicians.

Heartsense is currently in clinical trials in the U.K. and the U.S. at “top-tier athletic organizations.” Aside from the device itself, Cambridge Heartwear’s focus on patient-controlled data is laudable. Even though most patients will likely choose to configure Heartsense to immediately transmit data to physicians when anything abnormal occurs, configurable patient choice is an important option. Rather than operating on a “hook them up and read the data” approach, Heartsense establishes more of a collaborative relationship between doctor and patient.