The moment some people have been waiting for has finally arrived. Withings ScanWatch has received FDA-clearance. The device is expected to become available to buy in the US in a few weeks time.
Withings ScanWatch – yes, you’ll be able to buy it in the US soon
ScanWatch had snagged CE regulatory approval last year. This means it has been available for purchase in Europe for well over a year now.
The FDA was obviously a tougher nut to crack. The French outfit has not updated its website yet to make the announcement. But it has sent out a notification to some of its users that they’ll be able to buy Withings ScanWatch in the US. Most likely ahead of the holiday shopping period early next month. You can see the notification pictured below.
ScanWatch – what’s so special about it?
Unveiled at CES 2020, the headline feature of the hybrid is the ability to spot a serious form of irregular heart rhythm that can lead to heart failure and is a major risk for stroke. Some people who have AFib don’t have any symptoms, so the condition often goes undiagnosed. Others may experience dizziness, weakness and fatigue. It is the first of these two groups which is particularly at risk.
Scanwatch has a PPG sensor that is capable of spotting the condition. If the device suspects something is amiss, it will prompt the user to take an electrocardiogram (ECG) via the built-in electrodes by simply touching both sides of the bezel. It takes no longer than 30 seconds.
Sleep Apnea detection
Scanwatch’s other big feature is sleep apnea detection. Withings says one billion people suffer from the condition to some extent. The disorder is characterized by pauses in breathing or periods of shallow breathing during sleep. These can last from a few seconds to minutes and they happen many times a night. Heart rate and oxygen levels are prime indicators of sleep apnea.
The timepiece can detect breathing disturbances during the night and alert the user. These are detected through a combination of sensors including medical-grade SpO2, heart rate and accelerometer (for movement and breathing frequency).
To this end, ScanWatch shines a light through the blood vessels on a user’s wrist to work out the amount of oxygen in the blood. This is similar to technology that can be found in a range of Garmin watches and that is built into some Fitbit devices. The results can be of use as an initial screen for the condition.
Interestingly, Withings provided ScanWatch to French hospitals last year for use with patients who have been diagnosed with COVID19. According to L’Obs, they used the device to monitor blood oxygen levels from home and help with research.
COVID19 infections are often accompanied with respiratory problems resulting in a fall of oxygen levels in the body. Withings had obtained an exceptional exemption from the ANSM (National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products) to provide the device to certain hospitals free of charge.
Outside of that, ScanWatch has the usual sensors to help users track their activity day and night, including Connected GPS. The hybrid comes with a PMoled display and water-resistance down to 50 meters depth.
In our review, last year, we found the device is perfect for those looking for something that doesn’t look like a fitness tracker yet performs the functionalities of one. The hybrid’s strengths lie in keeping tabs on health, activity and sleep – and it does this with a touch of class. Mind you, it does not have built-in GPS (only Connected GPS), so should not be confused with a sports watch.
Where and when can you buy it?
The device is still only available on the continent and a select few other countries. But the count-down to when you will be able to buy Withings ScanWatch in the US has begun.
European users can order the watch on the Withings website. There is a 38mm iteration and a 42mm one. Both come with an impressive battery life of 30 days. American users will need to exercise just a bit more patience – another month and it should become available.
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