Withings ScanWatch clears FDA approval for blood oxygen scan

(Pocket-lint) - Withings is known for its subtle smartwatches that look nothing like a piece of computerised tech. However, take a closer look and you'll find that the company's offerings bring more sophisticated health tracking features to the table than even Apple does.  Now, thanks to newfound FDA clearance, the Withings ScanWatch is coming to America. 

The ScanWatch offers several health-first functionalities, including taking ECGs that check for atrial fibrillation, aka A-fib - which in case you're unaware, is the medical term for an irregular heartbeat.  And while the Apple Watch also supports A-fib detection via an ECG with approval under the FDA, the regulatory similarities stop there.  Despite both the Apple Watch and ScanWatch having blood oxygen monitors, only Withings' has the FDA clearance[1] - technically making it the only smartwatch on the American market to feature both ECG and blood oxygen measurement approval under the Nation's most major government health agency. 

At the moment, the big rub with blood oxygen monitoring, medically shorthanded as a SpO2 reading, is with its inherent link to COVID-19 detection.  Statistically, those who test positive for the virus typically see a reduction in blood oxygen levels. Thanks to Withings' official medical clearance, it can make a live medical recommendation, unlike the Apple Watch, which will only display your blood oxygen level as a percentage and nothing more.

No recommendations no matter what your results are - nothing. 

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All the details on the next version of the Apple Watch operating system, watchOS 7. Rather attractively, Withings also undercuts the Apple Watch heavily on price too. The ScanWatch retails for £279 / GBP249 on the 38mm model and £299 / GBP279 for the larger 42mm edition. 

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While it, of course, lacks the high-tech display and other supplementary features found on the Apple Watch, that's sort of the whole point of Withings' entire philosophy in the first place, isn't it?  The ScanWatch will be available for purchase in the United States sometime in early November.  Writing by Alex Allegro.

Originally published on 14 October 2021.

References

  1. ^ only Withings' has the FDA clearance (www.accessdata.fda.gov)