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Withings takes on Apple with ECG-equipped smartwatch, blood pressure monitor

Withings Move
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Withings kicked off CES with a trio of new devices that will appeal to the health-conscious who want to monitor their heart health and overall fitness. One of those devices, the Withings Move smartwatch, is aimed squarely at those who want to track their health and fitness level with minimal fuss and the least amount of money. The other two devices on display at CES incorporate an ECG for measuring your cardiovascular health.

The Withings Move ECG smartwatch aims at the Apple Watch 4 with onboard ECG functionality, while the BPM Core is a three-in-one blood pressure monitor that will also take an electrocardiogram (ECG) and listen to your heart using a digital stethoscope. Withings is one among many companies unveiling new products this week at CES 2019. Check out our comprehensive coverage here.

Move smartwatch

Inspired by the Activite, the Move merges fashion with technology. It is an affordable option that joins Withings growing portfolio of fitness watches. The Move is Withings most customizable device to date, allowing owners to choose from a variety of cases, wristband materials, watch face colors, and more. These customization options are available in Europe first, and will make their way to the U.S. later this year.

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The Move has a classic watch look with three dials — two to display the time and one to track the progress to your step count goal. Besides step counting, the Move will monitor your sleep at night and your heart rate throughout the day. It supports a variety of different sports activities including the automatic recognition of running, swimming, cycling, and walking.

It has connected GPS to track the distance on outdoor activities and uses that information to calculate pace which is displayed in the Health Mate app during the exercise. The fitness watch connects via Bluetooth to the Withings Health Mate app for full activity and sleep tracking analysis.

The Move offers water resistance down to 50 meters so you can run in the rain and swim without worrying about damaging the device. With 18-months of battery life, you never have to worry about running out of juice when you need it the most. The Withings Move is available first for pre-order with five color choices for $70. Shipping starts on February 5. New materials and color choices will continue to be added through 2019 with full customization, right down to the watch dials, available later in the year.

Move ECG

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Withings helped to kick off the connected health movement with its web-connected household scales, so it is not surprising to see the fitness company keeping up with the latest technology. This week at CES 2019, Withings took the wraps off the Move ECG, an analog watch with an on-demand electrocardiogram. The Move ECG continues Withings tradition of bringing health and fitness tracking to a classic watch design.

The hallmark feature of the Move ECG is the on-demand electrocardiogram which offers medical-grade heart monitoring technology. Owners can use the on-demand ECG to detect atrial fibrillation (AFib), one of the most common forms of heart arrhythmia. This irregular heart rhythm can cause fatigue and shortness of breath, and is a risk factor for stroke. It often goes undiagnosed as it can be challenging to detect AFib without regular and consistent heart rate monitoring. Similar to the Apple Watch 4, the Move ECG allows people to record heart activity whenever they feel unusual cardiac symptoms instead of having to wait until they make it to a doctor’s office or an emergency room.

Move ECG includes three electrodes to measure heart activity. Two of the electrodes are embedded into the main body of the watch, and the third electrode is in the stainless steel bezel. The user only needs to touch both sides of the bezel to start an ECG recording. Within 30 seconds, the watch will complete the reading and send the data to the companion Health Mate app where it is analyzed and can be shared with a medical professional.

Besides its medical monitoring, the Move ECG also is a capable fitness tracker with support for multiple sports, 24/7 heart rate monitoring, route mapping via connected GPS, and advanced sleep tracking. The hybrid smartwatch is water resistant up to 50 meters and lasts up to 12 months on the included battery.

The Move ECG will be available in the second quarter of 2019 for $130. Customers can choose between a black or white watch face and match it with a variety of wristband colors and material options for a personalized style.

BPM Core

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Withings is more than just a wearable company. It also is known for its connected devices, and at CES, the company unveiled the Withings BPM Core, a three-in-one medical monitoring device for at-home use. It combines a blood pressure monitor with an electrocardiogram and a digital stethoscope. The device provides a powerful trio of tools to measure your cardiovascular health.

Shaped like a traditional arm cuff, the BPM Core is packed full of sensors that can measure your blood pressure, take an ECG, and listen to your heart in under a minute. You can make all three health measurements at once or choose only one of the measurements as needed. All the data collected from the device can be synced to the Health Mate app via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi for analysis and for sharing with a medical professional. The device can detect AFib and valvular heart disease.

Withings is still waiting for CE and FDA approval so it can begin selling the BPM Core. The device is expected to go on sale in the second quarter of 2019 with a price tag of $249. Stay tuned to Withing’s website or its social media channels for more details on the final release date.

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Kelly Hodgkins
Kelly's been writing online for ten years, working at Gizmodo, TUAW, and BGR among others. Living near the White Mountains of…
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