Apple made a splash last year when it announced that its newest Watch would record an electrocardiogram (ECG), on top of a normal pulse. Withings, makers of analog smartwatches, is now following suit—for a fraction of the price.
Announced at CES 2019, the Move ECG expands on Withings’ hybrid watch design, with a conventional analog watch face covering a Bluetooth-connected activity tracker and remote notification gadget. The new design adds triple electrodes, one hidden beneath the watch’s body and two integrated into the side. When the user pinches the designated spots on the bezel, they can activate an ECG scan, which takes about thirty seconds. The results are synced to the Withings app on iOS or Android, giving a much deeper and more complete look at cardiovascular health than a simple pulse reading.
The Move ECG can do all of the other activity tracker stuff, too: step and sleep tracking, exercise detection, estimated calories burned, and discrete notifications, plus elevation and 50-meter water resistance. The new device will launch in the second quarter of 2019 for $130.
If you don’t need the ECG feature, the “Regular” Withings Move will cost just $70, with a wider selection of colors at launch in February, and a customization tool available online later this year. The online tool will even allow you to upload your own photos to use for the watch’s face. For those who like their customization a little more low-key, standard 18mm watch bands will work with both Move models.
Withings is also announcing its first connected “cardiovascular monitor”—a fancy blood pressure cuff. The BPM Core can record blood pressure and heart rate, and it has the same ECG monitor as the new watch, all automatically syncing data via Bluetooth. From the Withings app on Android or iOS, the data can be shared easily with any doctor. Withings says the cuff is just as precise as the cuffs you’ll find in a hospital and is currently going through the certification process at the FDA and CE (European Union). It’s landing in the second quarter for $250.
Trying out the BPM Core at the show was surprisingly easy, with a full ECG scan showing heart status in just a few seconds. The integrated LED matrix display shows pulse, blood pressure, and other info quickly. While the high price may put off more casual users, those who need accurate medical data on a regular basis will love the easy operation and wireless syncing.