Digital Disruption| January 18, 2019
Omron’s HeartGuide smartwatch wins Best of CES: most revolutionary wearable
At the end of 2017, the Japanese healthcare tech firm Omron secured FDA clearance for its highly-anticipated HeartGuide, a smartwatch that comes complete with a state-of-the-art oscillometric blood pressure monitor.
The first of its kind in the healthcare tech world, the original version of the HeartGuide was revealed at CES 2018. The new improved HeartGuide smartwatch, alongside a mobile app and Alexa Skill were revealed at CES in 2019. This version of the smart wearable went on sale on January 9, 2019, with a reasonable price tag of $499.00 and is expected to ship towards the end of March with free 2-day shipping if purchased on the Omron site.
The smartwatch won Engadget’s Best Wearable Award, Tom’s Guide’s Best Health Award and Techlicious’ Top Picks of CES Award for its innovation in heart health technology at this year’s CES.
There’s is good reason to get excited about this nifty wristwatch. Unlike traditional blood-pressure takers and monitors, HeartGuide has no messy hoses, wires or cuffs.
The Holy Grail feature of the device, however, is a flexible synthetic band that’s engineered to easily inflate and deflate, while keeping its shape so that it can fit snuggly and take blood-pressure readings on the fly. According to Omron, HeartGuide delivers accurate readings much like popular upper-arm sphygmomanometers.
Omron’s PR team declared on social media: ‘We are honored to be recognized for our advancements in health technology and our mission to eliminate heart attacks and strokes.’
A Reason for Americans with Cardiovascular Problems to Smile
The FDA certification of HeartGuide brings reprieve and high hopes for hypertensive Americans, who number more than 103 million. With over four-fifths of strokes, heart failures, and heart attacks easily avoidable through lifestyle turnarounds, HeartGuide will certainly come in handy.
The smart gadget can be tuned to monitor blood pressure during the night, as well as track an array of other metrics that will help provide better insights into a patient’s heart health. Useful features include a step counter, sleep quality tracker, heart rate monitor, and the not-so-surprising fitness tracker. (To mention just a few).
Watch this exciting video about Omron’s HeartGuide watch:
First Wearable Blood Pressure Monitor, More Under the Hood
Weighing a paltry 4.1 ounces, HeartGuide is a thing of beauty inside and out. It boasts a transflective memory-in-pixel LCD display, a Lithium-ion polymer battery that packs a punch, low-energy Bluetooth technology, 30mm thick band, and a ton of sensors. It only needs to be juiced up twice per week and can hold up to 100 blood pressure readings, physical activity history for up to 7 days, and sleep quality measurement up to 7 times.
For those who are not fond of small smartwatch displays, there is also an intuitive, free-to-download companion app for Android and iOS smartphones. It features a fantastic dashboard that will better educate you on your blood-pressure and health readings while providing customized heart health improvement recommendations.
Omron’s HeartGuide also comes with an Alexa skill which can be enabled on all Amazon Echo devices. The skill is fully integrated with the watch and users can get heart rate reading and fitness history as well as tips on how to manage heart conditions on the go.
No Small Feat
Of course, designing and engineering such an incredible wristwatch sphygmomanometer is no small feat. The device is one of the key elements of Omron’s Going For Zero project, the tech company’s initiative to wipe cardiac problems off of the face of the planet. That’s why it comes as no surprise that Omron went all in when creating HeartGuide. In fact, the company has filed over 80 new patents relating to the device.
La crème de la crème: automated nighttime blood pressure readings
Perhaps the most revolutionary feature of the HeartGuide watch is its ability to take automated readings during the night. Various medical studies have already concluded that spikes between blood pressure readings during the night and immediately after waking up are a leading cause of deaths tied to blood pressure conditions.
Another medical study concluded that night-time blood pressure measurements are a much better predictor of cardiovascular diseases related deaths than day time readings.
Outside of being hooked to a machine in a hospital setting, there is currently no other medical device available to patients that can take nighttime blood pressure readings. This makes the Omron HeartGuide the single most revolutionary device on the market today, bound to improve the lives of the 70 million Americans who suffer from cardiovascular diseases, and actually save lives while at it.
Why It Is Needed
With a heart attack occuring every 40 seconds, cardiovascular health should not be taken lightly in the US. Alongside aspirin use, cholesterol management, and not smoking, blood pressure monitoring can do wonders for over 40 million Americans with uncontrolled hypertension.
That’s where this wearable personal gadget for blood pressure tracking comes into play. In a broader sense, HeartGuide will make it easy to gather, analyze, and manage heart data, as well as provide better prevention and patient care. With AI and Big Data beckoning major changes in healthcare technology, this device is what the doctor prescribed.
“As a medical-grade blood pressure device in the form of a wristwatch, HeartGuide is a breakthrough for the category and for those who want to keep a close watch on their blood pressure anytime, anywhere,” states the current President and CEO of Omron, Ranndy Kellogg.
He’s right on the money. In-home and personal heart health monitoring devices will not only help Americans get a better handle on their blood pressure but can also make the work of tech-savvy physicians effortlessly easy.