by Michael Crider on
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Most smart scales are designed to track your weight and a few other related statistics over time to help you improve your overall health. Nokia’s most expensive smart scale, the Withings Body Cardio ($180) went further. It could track your pulse wave velocity, which can be a valuable predictor of health problems. Now, Nokia is updating their scales to remove this feature. And no, you can’t avoid the update.
Pulse wave velocity is a complex metric that measures arterial stiffness and is related to (but not quite the same as) your blood pressure. According to Nokia, such a metric “may require a different level of regulatory approval” than what the scale initially received, meaning they can’t legally sell a scale that claims to measure PWV. At least not without checking with agencies like the FDA first.
If you already have a Withings Smart Scale, then you can expect a non-optional software update coming soon that will disable the PWV tracking feature. Otherwise, your scale will continue to function like normal. Nokia hasn’t said yet whether this feature will come back in the future. In the meantime, Nokia is also temporarily ceasing sales of this particular scale. In the “first few months of this year” Nokia will start shipping the scale again, this time without PWV tracking.
If you’d rather not have features removed from a device you paid nearly $200 for, you can see what your refund options are at this link. Losing PWV tracking is a bummer, but it’s also worth keeping in mind that most “smart” health gadgets are legally considered “wellness” devices. They can help you monitor some information, but if you have serious health concerns or need more detailed, accurate tracking, you should talk to your doctor first.
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