SMARTWATCHES ARE CHANGING
THE PURPOSE OF THE EKG

Wearables help cast the medical test as a talisman
of health-care competence. An Object Lesson.

Ralph Orlowski / Reuters
 

By Andrew Bomback and Michelle Au 
February 22, 2019 11:30am ET

Think of the stereotypical representations of medicine, as they might appear on a television show: the crisp white coat, of course, and the stethoscope dangling at the ready. Syringes and intravenous lines, maybe. An X-ray or a CT scan slammed theatrically into a light box.

But any medical scene is incomplete without an electrocardiogram (EKG) machine running in the background, its jagged line tracing across the screen reassuringly, or alarmingly to cue a dramatic threat. The EKG is the backbeat of many hospital scenes on television. Important medical things are happening here, it says.