The Withings Body Scan scale has recently hit the U.S. market, following its debut in Europe last year. While the hardware is consistent across regions, the metrics it displays are not, thanks to differing regulatory standards. In this article, we’ll demystify these differences for you.
Available on Withings.com, the scale comes with a $400 price tag, post-FDA approval. While that might sound like a hefty sum, remember, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill smart scale. The French outfit has once again set a new standard for smart scales. In fact, it’s in a league of its own in this market segment.
Our comprehensive review will be published soon, offering hands-on insights into its capabilities. So keep an eye out for that.
Why Body Scan is special: Way beyond the basics
Think of the Withings Body Scan as your personal health concierge, all packed into a sleek glass platform. With a retractable handle that James Bond would envy, this device is more than just a pretty face on your bathroom floor.
It’s a multitasker, juggling everything from weight to a plethora of other information about your body, all while boasting a battery life that outlasts your New Year’s resolutions. The 3.2-inch color LCD screen doesn’t just show your metrics; it gives you the day’s weather and air quality —because why not?
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
Precision? It’s got it down to 0.1 lbs. And it doesn’t just tell you what you weigh; it tells you what you’re made of, literally—breaking down body composition. It uses multi-frequency Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) to get this info, including whole-body fat and water percentage, visceral fat, muscle and bone mass. It even provides readings for individual body parts, including the torso, arms, and legs.
The Body Scan is also the world’s first health station to receive FDA clearance for the detection of atrial fibrillation through a 6-lead ECG. Plus it uses Galvanic Skin Response to monitor foot sweat levels, providing a screening method for signs of neuropathy.
US vs Europe: The differences
The differences in metrics are not arbitrary but are dictated by varying regulatory requirements in the US and Europe. Nevertheless, the hardware remains consistent across all versions.
Electrodermal Activity vs Nerve Health Score
In the United States, the Body Scan spits out an Electrodermal Activity (EDA) Score, which measures the activity of sweat glands in the soles of the feet. This biomarker can provide valuable insights into a patient’s stress levels, diet, and overall health.
On the other hand, the European version offers something called a Nerve Health Score. This metric helps to identify early signs of peripheral autonomic neuropathies. Many patients are unaware of underlying nerve or sweat gland dysfunction, which could be indicative of pre-diabetic states. With appropriate lifestyle changes, treatment modifications, and the right home monitoring tools, it’s possible to reverse or mitigate this damage.
Pulse Wave Velocity: The missing metric
In the EU and UK, the Withings Body Scan comes equipped with a Pulse Wave Velocity (PWV) metric. This feature measures the speed at which waves generated by heartbeats travel along the arteries. It’s a valuable metric for gauging arterial stiffness, a key indicator of cardiovascular health. PWV is often used by healthcare professionals to assess the risk of heart diseases and hypertension.
Contrastingly, the U.S. version omits this particular metric. Instead, it offers a Vascular Age metric, which is also available in the EU and UK models. Vascular Age serves as a more user-friendly, albeit less detailed, assessment of arterial health. It compares your cardiovascular health to age-specific norms, providing an estimate of your “vascular age” as opposed to your chronological age.
Regardless whether you opt for the U.S., EU, or UK version of the Withings Body Scan, rest assured you’re investing in the market’s most feature-rich smart scale. Despite regional differences in metrics, each version offers a comprehensive suite of tools designed to empower you in your health journey.
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