Huawei gets 'go ahead' for blood pressure watch, but something seems fishy.
, by raj, 10 min reading time
We reported in May that Huawei was developing a smartwatch with blood pressure monitoring capabilities, and it now appears that the company is on the verge of releasing it. According to reports from ITHome in China, Huawei's "ECG blood pressure recorder" has been approved by the Guangdong Provincial Food and Drug Administration. Only a few devices can take blood pressure readings from the wrist. The feature is available on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and Galaxy Watch 4, albeit it requires authentication via a cuff before it can be utilized. Regular re-calibration of the watch is also required. However, Huawei is now looking for testers, indicating that the device is nearing completion.However, according to ITHome, Huawei is searching for people to participate in a study to test the blood pressure features. The announcement, on the other hand, seems a little strange. The company is seeking for "more than 20" persons with a wrist circumference of at least 200mm. That doesn't seem like the kind of user study that will lead to FDA or CE approval for a cuff-free blood pressure monitor, and it makes us even more skeptical that we'll see the feature globally anytime soon. Of course, we assume there were extensive trials to obtain approval from Chinese (regional) officials to begin with. However, we find it strange that a firm would target such a tiny group of testers with such a huge wrist size. To put that into perspective, the typical woman's wrist circumference is 178mm, which is far less than Huawei's testing standards.Blood pressure technology is difficult to evaluate, according to Fitbit CTO Eric Friedman, because of variations in factors such as wrist size, weight, ethnicity, and skin color. You have to have it to function at scale over a wide range of physiological body types, profusion levels, and other factors. Friedman said, "You also have to make sure it works in non-controlled circumstances." In other words, making technology work for everyone might be more difficult than showing that it works at all. And it involves putting hundreds of people to the test. So, where do we go from here? The FDA's approval of a wristwatch blood pressure monitor is a significant deal, but there are a lot of restrictions. We don't expect to see this anytime soon, but we'd love to see Huawei succeed. Via GizChina
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