Mountain View, California-based iHealth Labs announced today the launch of a suite of smartphone-enabled health monitors, which are mostly updates of devices that were already available from the company, a subsidiary of China-based medical device company Andon Health.
Best Buy has already begun stocking the Bluetooth-enabled devices, which include the iHealth Wireless Body Analysis Scale, the iHealth Wireless Blood Pressure Wrist Monitor, and the iHealth Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor, all of which connect to the iPhones, the iPad or the iPod touch. Apple's online store is also offering the product, and brick and mortar Apple stores will roll them out later this month. In addition, the company announced iHealth MyVitals, a new, free app designed to integrate and display the data from all three devices.
MobiHealthNews reported on iHealth’s FDA filing for the blood pressure wrist monitor this summer. Unlike other blood pressure monitors on the market, the wrist device is wireless and Bluetooth-enabled, so it doesn’t require a dock to communicate with mobile devices. It weighs only about a fifth of a pound and is automatically inflating, making it easier to use. iHealth officials told MobiHealthNews that taking blood pressure at the wrist rather than the upper arm is a popular method in Europe. MobiHealthNews has learned that the original iHealth blood pressure monitor will be discontinued.
“Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Lifestyle changes such as utilizing an iHealth Blood Pressure Monitor or Body Analysis Scale can help equip users to make informed health decisions to significantly reduce their risk,” Adam Lin, general manager of iHealth Labs, said in a statement. “By employing these simple to use products which connect with iOS devices to easily show progress, people can vastly improve their health and quality of life.”
Lin recently told MobiHealthNews that iHealth is working with at least two electronic health record vendors to integrate its blood pressure data with their systems.
For the moment, the wrist cuff gives iHealth an edge over perennial competitor Withings, which doesn't yet have a comparable device. Withings also manufactures a wireless upper arm cuff and both Withings and Fitbit offer a mobile-integrated smart scale. iHealth’s new scale tracks a wider range of metrics than its competitors, including weight, body mass, lean mass, muscle mass, bone mass, body water, and visceral fat rating and can display them either on it’s native screen or on an Apple device, through the MyVitals application. MobiHealthNews has also learned that an Android app for these devices is in the works.
The Wrist Monitor will retail for $79.95 and the Blood Pressure Monitor will sell for $99.95. At $109.95, the Body Analysis Scale will undersell both Withings' ($159.95) and Fitbit's ($129.95) offerings.