After a successful Kickstarter campaign in which it raised $120,000+, MOCACARE’s MOCAheart ($149) is now available for anyone to purchase. MOCAheart is being billed as “the world’s smallest heart health tracker.” Made of medical-grade stainless steel, MOCAheart measures heart rate, blood oxygen level, and introduces MOCA INDEX, which the company describes as “an indicator derived from blood velocity that is related to blood pressure.” Data from the tiny health tracker is recorded and accessed via the free MOCAheart app. MOCAheart comes with a short micro-USB cable in a package that we found to be excessively large for such a small accessory.
MOCAheart is indeed small — it’s about 2.75” long, thin, and weighs less than one ounce. Portability isn’t an issue, but losing it might be. While the front of MOCAheart is medical-grade stainless steel, the back is plastic. MOCACARE claims the monitor can last for three days if three to five measurements are taken each day. That’s somewhat disappointing, but at least it can be fully recharged in about an hour. A micro-USB port is found on the side of the heart monitor.
To get a proper reading, you lightly place both thumbs on MOCAheart and hold it with your other fingers. We did a number of scans. The first few scans required “more data” to be collected, which made for a reading that took about a minute in total. After those first few scans, though, each reading took about 30 seconds. That’s not as quick as an Apple Watch, but it also delivers more information. As for heart rate accuracy, there appear to be no issues, as far as we can tell. Our BPM on MOCAheart matched that on the Apple Watch exactly. Of course, MOCAheart also delivers blood oxygen levels, and its own vague MOCA INDEX data.
A few times MOCAheart’s app told us that it had a “bad signal,” and was unable to make a reading. This was corrected by closing the app and reopening. It was a minor annoyance, but after paying $149 for a heart health monitor, you’d probably expect each reading to go off without a hitch every time.
Worth noting: The app suggests you “calibrate” MOCAheart every six months to ensure its accuracy, by getting a reading with an actual, around-the-arm blood pressure monitor, then doing a reading on the MOCAheart right after. We didn’t do this for our purposes, but if you’re purchasing this for long-term monitoring, we’d suggest following those steps.
Other than MOCAheart’s extreme portability, the app is what sets it apart from more basic heart monitors or pulse oximeters. You use the MOCAheart app for everything — it tells you if your MOCAheart is connected, it shows the progress during a reading, and then it delivers all the data. You don’t need to create an account to do a reading, but making your own login allows a user to monitor readings over time, through a series of graphs and lists. The app can also be used to send readings to someone else, such as a doctor or family member, should you be so inclined.
MOCAheart’s app links to Apple’s Health app to access and update data including date of birth, height, sex, and weight. It doesn’t appear to connect and share heart rate data with the Health app, though, which is a curious omission. Perhaps that will be changed with a future update.
There were very few hiccups in using MOCAheart, and we found both the tiny tracker and MOCAheart app to be intuitive and well-designed. You’re paying a premium here — both a basic heart rate monitor and pulse oximeter can be purchased together for about half the price — but you’re also getting a small, easy-to-use heart monitor that can be used anywhere with an iPhone, for discreet readings. MOCAheart is worth a look for any iOS user who might be in the market for any similar type of monitor, and it earns our general recommendation.
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Compatible: Bluetooth 4.0 iPads, iPhones, iPods running iOS 8.0 or later