Israeli devicemaker launches smartphone that monitors vitals

While medical apps and wireless monitors have made headlines over the past year, one Israeli firm is splitting the difference, launching a smartphone that can keep tabs on 7 vital statistics and transmit data wirelessly.

LifeWatch Technologies has developed the LifeWatch V, an Android-based phone that can monitor vital stats like blood pressure, heart rate and blood glucose. The fully functional phone is already available in Israel, and the company expects to get a CE mark by the end of this year and FDA approval in 2013, CEO Yacov Geva told Globes

The device is "absolutely accurate and equivalent to any other diagnostic device in the field," company Vice President Yair Tal told Israel's Arutz Sheva, and it transmits its readings to a server at one of the firm's call centers, allowing users to access the information whenever they please. Patients can also grant medical professionals access to the data, making it easy for doctors to spot issues before they become severe, Tal said.

The company's planned approval timeline might be a tad optimistic, at least stateside. The FDA takes about 20 months to approve devices not substantially equivalent to ones already on the market, and the agency has been taking a harder look at mobile techs of late, releasing draft guidelines that would require app developers to go through the same approval process drugs and devices must endure.

LifeWatch has made its name in Israel developing wireless monitors for hospitals and home use, and it is working with Chinese manufacturer TechFaith Wireless Communication Technology to construct the smartphones. 

- read the Globes story
- get more from Arutz Sheva