Omron Healthcare Co Ltd has released a smartwatch that was certified as a medical device by FDA and has a function to measure blood pressure in the U.S.
The company said it launched the product in the U.S. first, considering that it is a country where people are highly interested in preventive medicine partly because of its medical insurance system and because there is a high demand for wearable devices. The company plans to release it in Japan in the spring of 2020.
Blood pressure is measured by increasing air pressure inside a bag called a cuff which is wrapped around an arm to temporarily stop blood flow and, then, gradually decreasing the air pressure. In the case of conventional blood pressure meters wrapped around an arm, the width of their cuffs is 10 cm or more for accurate measurement.
In the case of the new smartwatch, Omron says it was necessary to decrease the width of its cuff to store it in the belt. Therefore, the width was decreased to 25 mm, and the number of cuffs was increased from one to three (conventional blood pressure meters use only one cuff) to unfailingly apply a pressure.
The smartwatch is equipped with two cuffs for applying pressure and one cuff for sensing. A pump for inflating the cuffs is embedded in the main unit of the watch.
If blood pressure is measured twice a day, the smartwatch can be operated for two or three days per charge (charged two or three times per week). It takes about 1.5-2 hours to charge the smartwatch.
It is also possible to measure blood pressure when the user is sleeping. In addition, it can measure activity amount, heart rate and sleep quality.
The diameter and thickness of the main unit (face) are 46mm 13.8mm, respectively. The smartwatch (BP8000-M) is sold for $499 on Omron Healthcare's official online store.
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