iHealth gunning for Withings with connected scale, baby monitor

By Chris Gullo
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iHealth Blood Pressure iPhoneiHealth told MobiHealthNews this week that it plans to launch two new products, the iHealth Digital Scale and iBaby Monitor. A separate company called iBaby, a partner of iHealth's, created the baby monitoring device.

The products join iHealth's BP3 Blood Pressure Monitoring System as competitors to Withing's connected device offerings.

The iHealth Digital Scale records and uploads a users' weight via Bluetooth to a free iOS app, then aggregates the data into graph form. iBaby's Monitor allows parents to remotely monitor their children, also via an iOS app. (Competition in the fledgling baby monitoring space includes Evoz, which is being advised by a former Google Health alum.)

The new products stand as obvious competition to their French competitor Withings. Both companies' blood pressure cuffs were announced at last year's CES. The iHealth received FDA clearance in early February, whereas the Withings was not cleared until June.

However, there are some critical differences between the two scales' offerings and strategies to date. Withings WiFi Body Scale, appropriately, uses WiFi to transmit data to the cloud, which is then accessed via an iOS app. The iHealth requires a user to have their smartphone or tablet to be close by to the scale since it transmits data via a Bluetooth connection. Withings has also pursued an aggressive partnership strategy by connecting with other companies' wellness devices via open APIs, including RunKeeper's Health Graph and Fitbit and Zeo. To date iHealth hasn't made a move toward partnerships of that kind.

It will be interesting to see whether the iHealth scale and iBaby's monitor will be sold in Apple Stores since both the iHealth BP3 Blood Pressure monitor and Withings WiFi weight scale are currently featured on Apple store shelves.

Both the iHealth Digital Scale and iBaby Monitor are expected to arrive in October.

(Updated to make clear that iBaby is a partner of iHealth and that the two products have not yet been officially announced.)