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A real blood-pressure smartwatch is coming from Omron this year

Medical-grade blood pressure measurements, sleep tracking, notifications: Omron HeartGuide promises on-wrist measurements while you sleep, too.

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HeartGuide takes blood pressure readings, and it aims to be medically accurate.
Josh Miller/CNET

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.

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Now playing: Watch this: Omron HeartGuide fitness watch measures your hypertension
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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. 

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The wristband inflates inside, like an arm cuff.

Scott Stein/CNET

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, KardiaBand, earlier this year.

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