At CES this week, French consumer electronics company Withings is set to show off its forthcoming Withings Move ECG, a product it bills as the first analog watch to offer the same game-changing feature for which Apple’s newest Watch Series 4 attracted so much attention and headlines when it was unveiled. It’s right there in the name of the new Withings’ device – the ability to take eletrocardiogram (ECG) readings on-demand, which will let people presumably do a better job of monitoring their cardiovascular health and hopefully even detect heart conditions like atrial fibrillation, or AFib for short.
The Move ECG combines what Withings touts as medical-grade heart monitoring technology and such features as up to one-year battery life. “With Move ECG we have created a cardiovascular early warning system that can be worn every day, can capture and record cardiovascular events as they occur and help reduce the risks of heart disease,” said Withings president Eric Carreel.
In terms of how it works, the watch is fitted with three electrodes. Two are housed inside the main body, while the third is fitted in the stainless steel bezel. To take a reading, the user only needs to touch both sides of the bezel to start recording. It takes less than 30 seconds to complete, after which the results are synced automatically with the Health Mate app which shows whether a heart is beating normally or not.
In addition to being able to connect with third-party apps like Apple Health and Google Fit, the Move ECG also sports features like sleep tracking and activity and workout tracking. The heart monitoring, though, is certainly the feature that will attract the most attention here, and for good reason. Withings points to statistics like these from the CDC, which estimate that some 6 million people in the US have AFib. It’s a serious form of irregular heart rhythm that can lead to results like shortness of breath and heart failure, in addition to being a major risk for stroke.
The watch is currently under review for FDA clearance as well as clearance in Europe. Withings expects to make it available in the second quarter of the year for $129.95, with a watch face that comes in either black or white in addition to offering users a variety of wristband colors and material options.