The connected health market is booming. Wearables and other health-focused connected products are multiplying, and CES 2019 is proof of this. The French brand, Withings, took the opportunity to unveil the very first analog watch capable of recording an electrocardiogram. Apple opened the door to this with its Apple Watch Series 4, but Withings (ex-Nokia) continues and democratizes the concept. We were able to test it, so here are our first impressions.
Affordable and potentially life-saving
While the ECG functionality of the Apple Watch Series 4 has already proven its worth in the United States by saving lives, it is still not available in Europe (the watch has yet to obtain its certification in the European Union) and it's not exactly affordable. The good news is that things will change with the Withings Move ECG.
The new analog watch from the pioneer of connected health and connected analog watches is set to quickly make its way onto the market. The brand plans to release it in the second quarter of 2019 at a price of 129.95 euros. The watch is currently under examination by the FDA (USA) and the CE (European Union) approval.
Several colors will be proposed at the launch. Withings will then offer new design and color options throughout the year. It is also conceivable that the new customization option of its Withings Move line will allow you to choose from a range of case colors, dials, glass types and straps, as well as background colors. However, nothing has been officially confirmed so far.
A smooth evolution
Aesthetically speaking, the Withings Move ECG does not change much compared to the Steel. The brand has retained the design of the analog watch. A good decision since many users avoid smartwatches because of their look.
There is a 38 mm diameter with three watch hands, the first two of which indicate the time, while the third shows activity progress (from 0 to 100%) according to the step objective defined in the companion application Health Mate. The default strap is made of grey silicone and is pleasant to wear.
As always, the Move ECG also offers functionalities for monitoring activities (calories burned, number of steps, distance...) and sleep (analysis of its duration and the different sleep cycles in particular. You can use it when walking, running, swimming (waterproof to 50 meters) or even during cycling sessions. The watch even offers an altimeter.
ECG on your wrist
But in the end, it is not the design of his watch or the fitness features that interest us the most, but rather its ability to record an electrocardiogram. Withings has succeeded in finally offering an Android watch capable of recording an ECG.
The Move ECG can record the electrical signal from the heart in a matter of seconds and is available on request. The aim is to help detect atrial fibrillation, the most common and responsible form of arrhythmia responsible for about 1/3 of strokes in Europe, according to the manufacturer.
Withings is particularly proud of this model that could help the brand get back on track and hopes to "change the game in cardiovascular disease detection" according to Eric Carreel, President of Withings: "We have created a simple alert system with record autonomy that can be worn every day, in order to register an ECG immediately upon the appearance of a symptom, allowing early management of fibrillation".
How does it work?
The Move ECG wants to democratize the electrocardiogram, since traditional medical devices are often quite complicated. To perform an ECG on the watch, simply press both sides of the dial and wait for it to take the measurement. To do this, the Move ECG has three electrodes (two at the back and one on the steel ring around the glass).
Months of autonomy
This has always been one of the strongest arguments in favor of Withings watches. This new device is no different. The French manufacturer promises 12 months of autonomy with the ECG Move. However, it remains to be seen whether too much abuse of the ECG functionality could break that promise.
After the failed Nokia episode, Withings has made a remarkable return to the market. This new watch, the first one capable of making an ECG and compatible on Android, has great promise. Marketed at a reasonable price, it allows you to afford the functionality of recording an electrocardiogram without breaking the bank. Add to that the usual fitness features of Withings watches and a one-year autonomy, and you may have one of the future best sellers in the wearables sector. Finally, only a delay in obtaining FDA and CE approval could ruin the potential of Withings Move ECG. All that remains now is to thoroughly test the watch when it is released.