Omron announced that its blood pressure monitoring smartwatch has gotten FDA clearance and is set to be available for retail from 9 January 2019. The HeartGuide smartwatch is priced at $499 (approximately Rs. 35,000).
The HeartGuide watch is made of a flexible synthetic band to augment and maintain its shape to take an oscillometric wrist blood pressure on the go. This is considered as the key feature of the watch. Omrom claims that the watch is very comfortable on the wrist and it can also take readings during the night. It also tracks the sleep quality and daily steps. Omron says that more than 80 patents were filed related to the band and other components of HeartGuide.
The watch will also feature a free to download mobile application which will be available along with its launch in January. This app will provide instructions to the users on their health readings and also offers personalized recommendations to improve their health.
According to the CDC, more than 40 million people in the US have heart conditions and uncontrolled blood pressure. As per research about 33% urban and 25% of rural Indians are hypertensive. Of these, only 25% rural and 42% of urban Indians are aware of their hypertensive status and only 25% rural and 38% of urban Indians are being treated for hypertension. As per the Indian Council of Medical Research, Government of India, Hypertension is attributable to 10.8% of all deaths in India.
As HeartGuide is the first continuously worn device for blood pressure measurement, it makes it extremely easy to collect data and view blood pressure data. This is important because a lot of people do not manage their blood pressure properly. HeartGuide is a breakthrough as is allows people to keep track of their blood pressure anywhere, anytime.
Other monitoring devices in this line from Omron include a blood pressure monitor and ECG combo device which can be used at home. This product has been developed as a collaboration between Omrom and AliveCor. Omron is an investor in AliveCor.
The recently launched Apple Watch series 4 lets the users record their ECG directly from their wrists. The watch captures the heart rhythm when the users experience symptoms like rapid or skipped heartbeat and provide critical data to physicians. The uneven rhythm notification option on Apple Watch can now also sometimes check heart rhythms in the background and send a notification if an uneven heart rhythm like Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is analyzed.