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Withings ScanWatch finally gets FDA clearance for ECG feature in the US

The ScanWatch finally gets FDA clearance and goes on sale in November.

withings scanwatch horizon

Withings will soon sell the ScanWatch and ScanWatch Horizon smartwatches in the US. They have a one-lead electrocardiogram (ECG), optical heart rate sensor and SpO2 or blood oxygen readings, similar to the Apple Watch and Fitbit Sense. Although the original ScanWatch was announced in early 2020, the company has now received FDA clearance for ECG and SpO2 readings. Both models will be available from early November 2021.

Withings has always marched to the beat of its own drum when it comes to smartwatch design. Rather than touchscreens on counterparts like the Apple Watch or Fitbit, Withings merges dials with digital screens to make watches that could pass for traditional timepieces. The ScanWatch Horizon takes that one step further, looking like a diver's watch complete with rotating bezel and a stainless steel band.

Having received regulatory clearance in the US, the ScanWatch will start at $279, or $499 for the Horizon. The Horizon is currently available in France, Germany and the UK for €499.95/£499.95 for the 43mm size. 

Both also come with sleep monitoring tools that can potentially detect sleep apnea. Some watches like the Galaxy Watch 4 have snore detection which uses your phone's microphone. Fitbit's snore detection on the Versa 3 and Sense is also available on the Sense and Versa 3 watches using the built-in microphone, while Apple added breathing rate to sleep tracking in WatchOS 8. But Withings claims it's able to detect signs of nighttime breathing disturbances (or potential sleep apnea) using blood oxygen levels, heart rate, movement and breathing frequency gathered from the watch.

One other feature that potentially sets the SmartWatch Horizon apart is battery life. Withings claims it will last 30 days, much longer than the Apple Watch, Fitbit or Samsung's smartwatches.