Withings, the maker of a range of connected health devices, can now identify users’ vascular age using its Body Cardio smart scale.
Through pulse wave velocity (PWV), an indicator of arterial stiffness that’s measured by the time it takes blood to go from the heart to the feet, the Body Cardio scale can estimate the age and condition of users’ arteries.
The scale uses the PWV measurement and compares it against what is normal for each user's age and physical characteristics. Then it indicates whether their vascular is optimal, normal or sub-optimal.
For more information regarding their heart health, users can check the Withings Health Mate app for their estimated vascular age and lifestyle changes they can make to improve the score.
“By simply stepping on their scale each morning, Body Cardio will provide the type of cardiovascular assessment people normally only receive at a doctor’s office,” Mathieu Letombe, Withings’ CEO, said in a statement. “By linking the information to age, an index everyone understands, we are making it easy for people to stay informed and motivated to make healthy choices.”
WHY THIS MATTERS
In general, people’s arteries age slower than the rest of their body. However, they can age faster after years of cigarette smoking, eating high-fat foods, chronic stress and other traumas, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
When a person’s vascular age is determined to be significantly older than their chronological age, it can be an indicator of possible cardiovascular health issues.
Researchers suggest that using a metric like age to describe a person’s risk for cardiovascular conditions can be more useful for treatment adherence.
“It is difficult to make 40-year-old patients understand why their risk SCORE of 2% is alarming. Even if they understand the 2% message, patients might think that they have a 98% probability of surviving the next 10 years,” the authors of a report published in Revista Española de Cardiología wrote.
“Which is true. But patients will understand their current situation if their physician explains that their heart and arteries are 65 years old, even when their identity card states that they are 40 years old. This message could help patients to improve their adherence to the drug therapy and lifestyle modifications recommended by their physician.”
This is significant because cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death across most demographics in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It accounts for one in four deaths each year.
THE LARGER TREND
Last summer, the company closed a $60 million Series B round to scale its B2B division globally, accelerate the development of new consumer devices and grow its team with 100 new hires.