Asus has demoed a blood pressure monitoring smartwatch at Computex 2018 in Taiwan.
Established in 1981, this is the leading global ICT and IoT show with a complete supply chain and ecosystems. It is expected that 1,602 exhibitors from 30 countries will be attending this year. The 5 day exhibition kicked off today.
We were under the impression that Asus was pulling back from the wearables market but it sprung a surprise. On day one of the event it announced the VivoWatch BP, an upgraded version of its VivoWatch from three years ago. The main news here is the addition of blood pressure measuring technology.
To this end, the device comes with ECG (electrocardiography) and PPG (photoplethysmographic) sensors. There is one of each type of sensor on both the front and back of the watch. This combination, Asus says, allows for excellent accuracy.
Don’t get too excited, though. VivoWatch BP will not keep tabs on your blood pressure around the clock. To get a reading, you’ll need to rest your finger against the front facing sensor for about 15 to 20 seconds. Nevertheless, this is still more convenient than using a regular blood pressure cuff. That is if the readings from the watch prove to be as accurate as its less techie counterparts.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
Whether they are smart or traditional, blood pressure monitors typically come in one two forms – those for the upper arm, and those for the wrist. Both employ inflatable cuff technology, although blood pressure measurements taken at the wrist may be less accurate. That is because the wrist arteries are narrower and not as deep under your skin as those of the forearm. We have yet to see a company successfully integrate cuff-less technology into a fitness tracker or smartwatch.
Other metrics, which the watch keep tabs on include heart rate, activity data, sleep quality and a de-stress index. All this is viewable on the color LCD display and accompanying smartphone app. There is also a built-in GPS sensor for accurate tracking of activity and easy sharing of location information with family and friends.
Asus says the watch is 70% smaller and 50% lighter than current wrist-mounted blood pressure monitors. Battery life is an excellent 28 days with normal use (and GPS switched off).
VivoWatch BP will be available in Taiwan by the end of July. This will be followed by other Asian countries and than Europe in August. As its waiting FDA approval it won’t hit the US until next year. The timepiece will retail for approximately $170 and you’ll get to choose between Black, Gray, Green, Blue and Maroon color options.
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