March 26, 2019

Withings ECG smartwatch is an analog Apple Watch killer

08 January 2019, 06:42 | Casey Mitchell

Withings ECG smartwatch is an analog Apple Watch killer

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Withings has had a tumultuous couple of years.

Nokia acquired French health technology company Withings in 2016 and rebranded it as Nokia Health, however the company was bought back by Withings' co-founder in 2018. But it's aiming high with its newest device: the $129 Withings Move ECG targets those who want a more affordable device to measure electrocardiograms at home than the $350 Apple Watch.

A Basic Fitness TrackerWithings Move is a style-focused activity-tracking watch. You can watch the ECG in real-time in the Health Mate app, but you don't need a phone nearby to take a reading. The hope is that by being able to take your ECG on-demand when symptoms appear, users will be able to detect atrial fibrillation (AFib), one of the most common forms of heart arrhythmia. Data accumulated over time can be seen in larger charts and graphs in the app, and that data can be exported so users can easily share it with their doctors. AliveCor's KardiaBand ECG electrocardiogram watch band for the Apple Watch debuted at the end of 2017. As of today's announcement, the Move ECG is now under review for FDA clearance (the Apple Watch Series 4's ECG app and its irregular rhythm notification have FDA clearance in the US).

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"While providing medical grade measurements, the elegant watch looks nothing like a bulky medical device". Sleep monitoring is included too with support for smart alarms along with access to sleep score data and Withings' Sleep Smarter Program to help improve sleep patterns. The Move ECG includes three electrodes, two inside the main body of the watch, and the third electrode in the stainless steel bezel of the watch.

After around 30 seconds the Move ECG vibrates to notify you that the reading is complete.

To be clear, lower-cost ECG devices have been available before the Apple Watch. The watch is water resistant up to 50 meters and features a battery life of up to 12 months. However, it doesn't have an optical heart-rate monitor, and the electrodes don't measure heart rate outside from taking ECG measurements.

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With an 18-month battery, the Move series will likely be the more universal and interesting of Withings' CES announcements, but it's not the only one worth noting.

Like most other smartwatches and trackers, the Move ECG can take regular heart rate readings as well as track your calories burned, pace, distance, workout routines and elevation.

The Move ECG will be available in Q2 2019 for just £129.95, significantly cheaper than the Apple Watch.

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