Withings has added a new paid software feature to its Health Mate app, an algorithm called Hy-Result that will help patients analyze the blood pressure data they collect from Withings devices.
“With cardiovascular disease being the leading global cause of death, accounting for 17.3 million deaths per year, everyday monitoring blood pressure becomes an increasingly important part of anyone’s healthy lifestyle,” Withings CEO and co-founder Cédric Hutchings said in a statement. “We are very proud to offer Hy-Result, which further delivers on the Withings' mission to provide connected health services that are rooted in science and clinically proven to make positive impacts on health and wellbeing.”
With the $5 in-app purchase, users will be able to analyze blood pressure readings, as well as additional self-supplied health information, and get an assessment of both how high their blood pressure is and what steps they can take to reduce it (including, possibly, seeing a doctor).
“A single blood pressure reading can’t paint the full picture of your health,” Withings Medical Product Manager Benoit Brouard wrote in a blog post. “The Hy-Result in-app purchase gives you a much more complete overview by taking multiple blood pressure readings over multiple days, along with collecting your personalized health stats like gender, age, and what medicines you take. By combining answers from a heath questionnaire with a 5-day measurement calendar, Hy-Result gives you a personalized report of your blood pressure that can be easily shared with your doctor.”
Brouard adds that the software has the advantage of skirting the “white coat effect”, whereby blood pressure measurements taken in a doctor’s office can be inaccurate because the setting itself is stressful.
The software has been tested in a head-to-head trial against hypertension specialists, and matched their opinions more than 95 percent of the time.
Withings seems to be taking a page from AliveCor’s book here: The smartphone ECG company has so far added to its app three FDA-cleared algorithms patients can use to analyze their readings: one for atrial fibrillation, one that detects normality, and one that detects interference. According to AliveCor, 30 percent of AliveCor users have received a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation through the algorithm. More than half of those that received a diagnosis received it within a week of their first AliveCor ECG recording, and 80 percent received it within a month of that first use.
But there is one big difference between AliveCor's algorithms and the new one from Withings: FDA clearance.
A Withings spokesperson told MobiHealthNews that "Hy-Result is not a diagnostic tool so doesn’t require FDA clearance. It provides educational advice and recommendations based on [blood pressure] measurements."