Connected health firm Withings has announced the reintroduction of Pulse Wave Velocity (PWV) measurements, an indicator of cardiovascular health, on its Body Cardio connected sales in Europe.
Users are able to get daily analysis of their PWV along with their weight, body composition (body fat, water %, muscle & bone mass), BMI and standing heart rate by simply stepping on the scale.
Widely recognised as a standalone indicator of cardiovascular health, PWV is a measurement of arterial stiffness, a key indicator of heart health and associated with risks of cardiac incidents such as hypertension, high cholesterol, organ failure, stroke and heart attack. It is defined as the speed at which heartbeat-generated vibrations spread out along the arterial walls of the body’s circulation system. An elevated PWV is a sign of arterial stiffness and associated with higher blood pressure (as more force is required to circulate the blood), while lower PWV indicates greater artery flexibility and a sign of overall good heart health.
Originally launched in 2016, Body Cardio brought PWV analysis, which had traditionally been conducted in a clinical environment, into the home to help users to better understand their cardiovascular health and receive advice to make improvements. This technology brought medical grade capabilities to a non-medical device.
In January 2018, Withings suspended PWV capabilities, while it sought clarification on how regulators would categorise this device. Having worked with regulators in Europe and after carrying out its own legal review, Withings is assured no further regulatory approval is required in the EU. Discussions with US regulators are currently ongoing, and PWV will be reintroduced to American users as they conclude.
Eric Carreel, president of Withings said: “I’m delighted to return PWV to European customers. Not only is it one of our customers’ most beloved features, it has the potential to make a huge impact in people’s lives as it gives the ability to receive a daily heart checkup simply by standing on a scale. Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death worldwide yet 90% are preventable. Returning PWV was one of my priorities when reacquiring Withings as it has an important role to play in addressing this health issue as it allows people to see their impact of daily lifestyles choices on heart health. I look forward to rolling out the feature to other regions as regulatory procedures allow.”
The product has features that include pregnancy tracker, baby mode, family mode, athletic mode, weather updates and step tracking.
Body Cardio displays all of its data on its screen as well as in more detail within the accompanied Health Mate App that it connects to via Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth. Data within the app can be tracked over time while providing ongoing analysis, motivation and advice. For PWV, the app will provide an indication of whether a user’s PWV is normal, optimal or at risk as well as lifestyle modifications to improve cardiovascular health.