Withings debuts connected scale with a measure of cardiovascular health

Courtesy of Withings

French digital health company Withings released its fourth-generation connected scale, dubbed Body Cardio. The most obvious upgrade users will see on the scale is the measurement for pulse wave velocity (PWV), which offers insights on cardiac health and risk of hypertension or cardiovascular incidents. The scale also offers users the standard data on weight, BMI, body composition and standing heart rate.

This launch comes shortly after Nokia agreed to acquire Withings, an announcement that came out at the end of April. Nokia will take on Withings' health tech portfolio in what will be a $191 million deal, expected to close in Q3 this year.

PWV is "recognized by the medical community as the best standalone assessments of cardiac health," the announcement said. PWV is the speed at which vibrations from the heartbeat spread along the arterial wall.

A higher PWV could indicate stiff arteries or high blood pressure, the announcement explained. To get the PWV measurement, Body Cardio takes into account the user's age and the time it takes for blood to flow from the aorta down to the vessels in the feet.

Body Cardio's accompanying app, Health Mate, tracks this measurement over time and offers users an idea regarding how normal their PWV reading is.

Typically, a PWV analysis is reserved for patients who already have high blood pressure or some other sort of chronic disease. However, technology like this now offers folks the opportunity to keep track of cardiac health before there is an issue.

Doctors could also potentially make use of Health Mate data for any patient who has it. Rather than requiring that patients have frequent appointments for heart analysis, Body Cardio and its accompanying app--which can be found on both iOS and Android--could serve that purpose, allowing for more time between visits or alerting a doctor to potential problems or risks.

The scale is available today at Apple Stores worldwide and Withings.com for $179.95.