Qardio's upgraded smart scale adds rechargeable battery, improved accuracy

By Jonah Comstock
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Connected health device company Qardio has unveiled the next generation of QardioBase, the company’s smart scale and body analyzer which originally launched in 2015.

“We see this as an evolution,” Qardio Chief Business Officer Alexis Zervoglos told MobiHealthNews. “The original QardioBase was a product that moved the field forward and we were consistently told that, both by customers and by retailers. … We didn’t see any reason to move away from a winning formula, but we were getting a lot of feedback from customers about ways they were using it, the things we could do better, and the ways we could make it more useful and better for them.”

For one thing, the new QardioBase is slightly larger, to accommodate more sizes of feet. And the scale has been redesigned so that being on different surfaces — carpet vs hardwood floor, for instance — no longer affects the accuracy. The screen is brighter and the haptic feedback, another way the scale speaks to the user, is sharper.

There are also changes on the inside, with the sensors and algorithms updated to make the device both faster and more accurate. And the traditional alkaline battery has been subbed out for a rechargeable battery that lasts a year on each charge.

“Our objective is to be as frictionless and easy as possible,” Zervoglos. “We want people to step on, step off, and get on with their day.”

The original QardioBase has a few interesting features, and those are carried on to this device. For instance, by default the scale doesn’t actually show users their weight, but instead a smiley face that indicates whether they are making progress in the right direction toward their goals.

“A nutritionist will tell you, if you’re trying to lose weight, the worst thing you can do is look at the numbers on the scale,” Zervoglos said. “They want you to track the trends, but they don’t want you to obsess about the numbers because your weight changes every day.”

In addition to weight, the scale also tracks full body composition including percent of muscle, fat, water, bone. It uses this information to identify different users in a family and automatically upload their data to its own trend line. The scale also has a Pregnancy Mode for expecting mothers.

Qardio considers itself to be both a medical device company and a consumer electronics company. Its product suite is focused on heart health. In addition to QardioBase, the company has a smart blood pressure cuff called QardioArm and a heart monitoring strap called QardioCore. A software product, QardioMD, allows doctors to prescribe the devices to patients and receive data from them in a digestible way.

“The fact is that, in the US more so than any other country, healthcare is consumerizing,” Zervoglos said. You used to go to a doctor and have them tell you what’s wrong with you and what you should do about it. Now, more than half of patients go into the doctor because they know what’s wrong with them because they Googled it and are simply asking for a rubber stamp. There is no distinction between talking to the providers and talking to the patients. Our audience is both of them.”

QardioBase 2 is available now in the US, UK and continental Europe and will come to Canada, Australia, and Hong Kong September 18. It retails for $149.99.