Withings has debuted a trio of new devices at CES 2019 in Los Vegas. This includes a blood pressure monitor capable of tracking ECG and valvular health, as well as two analogue smartwatches – one of which has the ability to measure ECG.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
The French outfit has been on a bit of a roller-coaster ride during the past few years. Back in 2016 Withings was snapped up by Nokia. It wasn’t long, though, before the tech giant found the health and fitness industry is a pretty hard nut to crack. Nokia wanted out, so about a year ago Éric Carreel co-founder and former chairman of Withings took the company back under his wing.
Withings has, since then, been busy rebranding and refreshing its fitness tracker line with the classic looking Pulse HR and Steel HR Sport, a sportier version of its popular hybrid. It has now announced a trio of new devices to its health and fitness range.
The most exciting of the three is a blood pressure monitor that is probably the most sophisticated device of its kind. Honored with a CES Innovation Award, BPM Core is capable of measuring ECG and valvular health in addition to taking your blood pressure and heart rate readings. The company says this is its most advanced health wearable to date.
ECG is used to identify atrial fibrillation (AFib), a serious form of irregular heart rhythm that can lead to heart failure and is a major risk for stroke. The Apple Watch Series 4’s claim to fame is its ability to measure ECG, and we’ve seen a number of other stand-alone wearables such as AliveCor with the same ability. But this is a first for a blood pressure monitor.
To record an ECG with BPM Core, users will need to place the cuff on the upper arm and their other hand on the stainless steel sensors for 20 seconds. This creates a closed circuit during which heart rhythms are tracked. The reading is then displayed within the Health Mate App along with info on any irregularities.
Coupled with this, the digital stethoscope on BPM Core can provide early detection of valvular heart disease. The condition is characterized by damage to one of the four heart valves and may require surgical intervention. To take a measurement simply place the sensor on your chest, and it spends 20 seconds listening and evaluating heart performance.
The ability to monitor all three conditions (high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation and valvular heart disease), with one product definitely sounds like a game changer. You’ll essentially get a complete heart health checkup in 90 seconds.
“I founded Withings with the mission to leverage digital connected health technologies to help prevent disease and promote healthy lifestyles,” said Eric Carreel, President of Withings.
“With Withings BPM Core, we are providing people with an early-warning system to monitor some of the biggest risk factors in cardiovascular health. Early and regular monitoring is key to identifying, preventing and managing heart diseases, the world’s leading cause of mortality, which is why we have created a device that can be used every day in the comfort of your own home.”
As it’s a medical-grade device, Withings BPM Core is currently awaiting FDA and CE clearance. It is expected to be available for purchase in Q2 2019 for $249.95.
The French outfit seems to be all about ECG at this year’s Los Vegas event. Its Move ECG wearable is the world’s first analog watch capable of recording an electrocardiogram.
The device comes with three electrodes to ensure accuracy. Two are discreetly integrated inside the main body and the third is in the stainless steel bezel. To take a reading, users will need to touch and hold both sides of the bezel for around 30 seconds. The gizmo will vibrate when the reading is complete.
The info is then synced to the Health Mate app, where you’ll be able to view a detailed graph of heart rate trends and ECG readings. Similar to its other analogue timepieces, other info that is collected includes steps, calories, pace, distance, workout routes, sleep and for the first time there’s an altimeter for elevation. The step count progress is shown on the watch’s sub-dial.
Withings says the watch can keep going up to a year on a single coin-cell battery. Water resistance is up to 50 meters and the watch has auto-recognition for swimming, walking, running and stairs climbed. No built-in GPS but there is connected-GPS.
Move ECG will also be available in Q2 2019 for $129.95 as the ECG functionality requires approval from the regulatory authorities. The watch face will be available in black and white, and you’ll be able to choose from a variety of wristband colors and materials.
Finally, we have Withings Move. As its name implies, this device lacks the ECG functionality of its big brother as well as an altimeter, but comes with everything else.
What’s perhaps most attractive about Move is its very affordable price tag. The device retails for only $69.95 which is not too much to pay for a stylish analog timepiece with decent fitness tracking functionality.
In terms of design, Move has a 38mm frame and three dials – two to display the time and one to display the progress towards your goal. There are lots of customization options including a range of case, wristband, dial, handle, watch face colors and material combinations.
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