We wrote about Biotricity‘s Bioheart personal heart monitor in January. Biotricity showcased the device during CES 2021. The Bioheart is a chest strap with two dry electrodes. Connected to an associated smartphone app, the Bioheart device can capture and display three views of a heart’s electrical activity. The wearable also calculates resting pulse, respiration rate, activity, and calories burned. Prior to the final Bioheart release, Biotricity offered me the chance for hands on experience.

Biotricity sent a production-level Bioheart wearable with pre-production software for us to try out. You can recharge the Bioheart either snapped on or off the washable chest strap. A multicolor LED in the center of the wearable is supposed to indicate charging status, although I found checking the associated smartphone app was more accurate. Fully charging a Bioheart takes about two hours. The Bioheart battery can power the device while it monitors continuous heart electrical activity for up to two days, according to Biotricity. I never wore it longer than 12 hours. As suggested in the documentation, I wore the Bioheart chest strap just below the sternum. I wore it in public and no one seemed to notice it. On a couple of occasions I forgot I was wearing the device, which I’d consider a good thing. I was more aware of the Bioheart when I wore it overnight, but it didn’t interfere with my sleeping.

Given that my impressions of the Bioheart are based on beta software, the device does appear to function as promised. You have to use the Bioheart app to view data from the wearable. The app, which I installed and ran successfully on two different brand Android OS smartphones, displays current heart rate, heart rate variability, resting heart rate, standing heart rate, and walking heart rate. I had no way to determine the Bioheart’s absolute accuracy, but when I checked it against a Fitbit Versa 2 smartwatch, the heart rate readings were nearly identical.

The beta app I used recorded three-channel ECG views in 30-second to 5- minute recordings. The recorded data in the beta app is a snapshot of your heart’s electrical activity and useful just as a demo. You can export and share the recorded data. When I printed the data from a 5-minute recording, the PDF file was 10 pages long. This report shows what a report looks like, but that’s all Biotricity intended for reviewers. If you don’t know how to read ECG reports, the value of sheets and sheets of wavy lines doesn’t amount to much.

Biotricity’s final Bioheart software will record user ECG data continuously for up to 48 hours, according the reviewer’s guide. The app will continuously record ECG data and upload it to the cloud when the Bioheart device syncs with the app. The data collected in 48 hours would amount to 5,760 pages of ECG printouts, which no human would ever read. However, a second promised feature could make the data more useful. Users will be able to set normal heart ranges in a personal profile that included just age, gender, height, and weight in the beta version. The app will send an instant alerts if a user’s heart rate goes outside the configured limits. After receiving an alert, a user could select the time period in question and access the data just before and after an alert to get a look at the ECG data and share it with their physician.

Biotricity believes the Bioheart will be useful for heart patients and their physicians. The company also positions the device for healthy individuals who want to monitor their heart health as preventative care. In response to my questions about how to interpret the ECG data in my recorded samples, Biotricity was quick to point out that they do not want anyone to regard Bioheart as a diagnostic medical instrument. The company intends to provide general information about ECGs and how physicians use them, but that’s it. As with all ECGs, if you want to know what the readout means, ask your doctor.

The Bioheart is an impressive device in its ability to capture continuous ECG data for a long period of time with a comfortable wearable. Biotricity has other heart health products including two clinical ECG platforms. We look forward to a chance to try out Bioheart when the company releases the final version of the app. Biotricity has not set a firm date product launch date but we expect it will be before the end of the year.