Packing and wearing blood pressure cuffs, if you have hypertension, isn't easy. I measure my high blood pressure, and wish I had a smartwatch to do it. Omron, makers of medical-grade blood pressure monitors, have a fitness watch coming this year, called the HeartGuide. I love the idea of it. I hope it works as well as promised.
I couldn't test it myself: Omron's Jeffrey Ray told me it's still undergoing clinical tests, and should be submitted to the FDA later this year. The target price is $349, about the cost of an Apple Watch (converts to roughly AU$445, £260).
The HeartGuide has an extra-stiff band that actually inflates to take an oscillometric measurement like a normal doctor's blood pressure cuff, and syncs to Omron's phone app, where the data can be shared with a doctor. The watch takes manual readings and spot heart rate measurements, but can also be programmed to take night readings to test for hypertension and risk of stroke while sleeping.
The HeartGuide also tracks steps and sleep, and can get phone notifications, too. The watch will last between ten days and two weeks on a single charge, according to Ray, which will make it easier for elderly patients to use.
Omron is also partnering with AliveCor to put EKG heart rate measurements on a stand-alone monitor, and plan to eventually combine EKG and blood pressure on the watch, too. AliveCor made an Apple Watch-compatible FDA-cleared EKG band, , earlier this year.
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