Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

At CES, Withings shows analogue watch that records ECG

Steve Rogerson
January 8, 2019



French company Withings is unveiling at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas an analogue watch that can record an electrocardiogram (ECG) on-demand, allowing people to monitor their cardiovascular health at any time and prevent heart conditions such as atrial fibrillation (AFib).
 
Called Move ECG, it has won a CES Innovation Award.
 
Known for bringing Activité, an activity tracker built into a traditional watch design, to market in 2014, Withings is committed to creating beautifully designed products that are simple for people to incorporate into their daily lives to monitor their health and reach their wellness goals.
 
Move ECG embodies this mission by combining medical grade heart monitoring technology with the popular connected analogue watch design and battery life of up to one year, making it easy and enjoyable to wear and monitor health levels from day to night.
 
Move ECG can take an ECG on-demand to help detect paroxysmal AFib, one of the most common heart arrhythmias. AFib is a serious form of irregular heart rhythm that can lead to fatigue, shortness of breath and heart failure. It is also known to be a major risk for stroke.
 
The CDC estimates six million people in the USA have AFib. The condition, however, is often under-diagnosed as its symptoms are not always present and can easily be missed if they are not occurring during infrequent doctors’ visit. The NHS estimates one million people in the UK have AFib, which is both an indication of heart disease and associated with a host of conditions including thyroid problems, viral infections and lung disease.
 
“The ability for people to take an ECG in real-time as they experience a symptom such as palpitation or shortness of breath makes the Withings Move ECG a game changer,” said Eric Carreel, president of Withings. “While providing medical grade measurements, the elegant watch looks nothing like a bulky medical device. 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.”
 
Traditional ECG devices have long been associated with bulky, unattractive and complicated products. With Move ECG, users can still monitor their heart health levels through a discreet and simple gesture, without having to give up their style preferences or daily routine.
 
Three electrodes ensure measurement accuracy. Two electrodes are discreetly integrated inside the main body of the watch, and the third electrode is in the stainless steel bezel of the watch. When users experience symptoms such as palpitation, they simply need to touch both sides of the bezel to start recording anytime and anywhere.
 
After less than 30 seconds of measurement, the watch vibrates to notify users that the reading is complete. It then syncs automatically with the Health Mate app, which displays whether the heart is beating in a normal pattern or whether there are signs of AFib. Additionally, users can find a detailed graph of long-term heart rate trends and ECG readings in Health Mate.
 
Data collected by Move ECG and visualised in Health Mate can easily be shared with a doctor or healthcare professional, which can help assist with early diagnosis and prevention.
 
Move ECG connects to the dedicated Health Mate app for iOS and Android that provides data, insights and scheduled activity reminders; it sets goals and manages successes. It also connects with more than 100 third-party apps such as Apple Health, Google Fit or MyFitnessPal.
 
In addition to monitoring people’s heart health, it has the activity and sleep tracking features users have come to expect from Withings, including the ability to track calories burned, pace, distance, workout routes and for the first time in a Withings Watch elevation, as tracking floors climbed is helpful to those focused on heart health goals.
 
Step count progress is shown at the watch’s sub-dial. Users can see at a glance how far they are from their set daily step count goal based on 0 to 100 per cent. There is automatic recognition of daily activities including walking, running, swimming and, for the first time on a Withings watch, cycling and stairs climbed. It is water resistance up to 50m.
 
Sessions that are automatically detected are recorded in the Health Mate app, which shows the duration and calories burned during a given activity. Overall daily and weekly steps, calories burned, floors climbed and distance are also shown in the app.
 
On-demand workout mode allows users to record a specific session by pressing a button on the watch to activate its connected GPS (via Bluetooth LE) feature. Pace, time and distance are shown in real time on a paired smartphone, and the workout route is mapped after the session in the Health Mate app.
 
Sleep monitoring and analysis of sleep patterns include the length, depth and quality of sleep. The smart wake-up feature will wake users with vibration alarms at the most optimal times during their sleep cycle. There is the provision for a preparatory sleep score based on data such as sleep duration, depth regularity and interruptions. And it provides access to the Sleep Smarter programme, consisting of eight weeks of recommendations to improve sleep patterns.
 
The Move ECG will be available during CES at the Sands Expo Center, Hall A-D stand 45137. It will be available in the second quarter of 2019 for $129.95. Its watch face will be available in both white and black, and people will be able to choose from various wristband colours and material options to complement each user’s personal style.
 
Withings Move ECG is a medical-grade device currently under review for FDA and CE clearance.