Omron Healthcare, a global manufacturer of blood pressure monitors, has unveiled the first-of-its-kind wearable that is capable of giving an accurate blood pressure reading which can then be shared with doctors via a digital platform.

Omron demonstrated the wearable at the 2018 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, US. CES is an annual event where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace.

Omron’s new wrist-worn wearable, the Omron HeartGuide, is essentially a smart watch with an inflatable cuff built into the watch strap that measures systolic and diastolic pressure.

The wearable is comprised of a number of specially developed components such as miniaturised blood pressure pumps, valves and chips. The actual watch strap is made from the same flexible, yet durable material, which is reportedly used in the airbags of NASA’s Mars Lander. This material allows the strap to inflate to take a blood pressure reading while maintaining its shape to ensure an accurate reading.

“The wearable HeartGuide tracks sleep quality, and can be programmed to take a blood pressure reading while you sleep,” said Omron Healthcare’s President and CEO, Ranndy Kellogg, during an interview with Drug Store News at CES.

“Heart attack risk is higher in the last phase of sleep and in the morning. Checking blood pressure during sleep is an important option for hypertensive patients and an advancement in our pursuit of Going for Zero, the elimination of heart attack and stroke,” continued Kellogg.

Like other activity wearables on the market, HeartGuide will track steps and sleep, and also receive phone notifications. According to Omron, its battery life can last up to two weeks on a single charge.

The blood pressure data from the wearable can be synced via Bluetooth to the new Omron Connect App, allowing the user to store, track and share their health data with their healthcare providers. Through the app the user can also generate charts and graphs, enabling them to easily monitor their heart health over time.

“The Omron Connect App encourages meaningful behaviour change and more patient-doctor dialogue. With the app, users are encouraged to monitor their blood pressure regularly, to track their data over time and to share it with their doctors. More readings and more accurate data can be invaluable in making lifestyle and treatment changes and preventing cardiac events,” said Kellogg.

The Omron Connect App will be available for free for both Android and iOS devices next month. Meanwhile, the Omron HeartGuide wearable still needs to undergo clinical testing and achieve FDA approval. Therefore, the wearable is expected to be available to consumers towards the end of 2018 and will be in the same price range as an Apple Watch.

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