Withings launches wireless BP cuff with Android support

By Jonah Comstock
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Withings BPMWithings has secured FDA 510(k) clearance for its previously announced Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor and it has launched the device in the United States.

As announced at CES 2014 in Januarythe blood pressure cuff is similar to the one Withings released in 2011, but adds Bluetooth connectivity and Android support (the previous device was iOS-only and had to be plugged into the Apple device). When the user presses the button to inflate the cuff on his or her upper arm, the Withings Health Mate app opens automatically, displaying instructions and saving data on the phone. The device will sell for $129.95.

"What we've seen is that there are two worlds [for health sensors]," Withings CEO Cedric Hutchings told MobiHealthNews. "One is the Quantified Self or wellness world and the other is more healthcare and connected health. We believe that these two worlds will merge in the future and it is very important for us to be ready to go into medical devices in complement to our consumer devices."

The company will continue to support its older blood pressure monitor but will stop selling new units. With the addition of the new blood pressure cuff, all of Withings' health sensors -- the cuff, the Withings weight scale, and the Withings Pulse activity tracker -- will be wireless and both iOS and Android compatible. The data from all of those devices will be aggregated in a single app -- the Withings Health Mate app.

In conjunction with the launch, Withings announced a partnership with the American Medical Group Association's "Measure Up Pressure Down" campaign, an initiative to get 80 percent of hypertensive patients in control of their blood pressure by 2016. Withings will donate 150 of the new devices to AMGA and fund an 18-month investigative study of home blood pressure monitoring.

"We are proud to bring again to the market a disruptive design that is an attractive BP monitor that is the first, to my knowledge, to have both Android and iOS compatibility," Hutchings said.

The other device Withings announced at CES, the Withings Aura Sleep System, was originally slated for a spring release. Hutchings said the device is now due out in the summer, at the end of the second quarter.