Asus, Taiwan-based computer and phone hardware and electronics company, previewed its VivoWatch BP smartwatch at the Computex 2018 event. In addition to an integrated GPS in the new VivoWatch, the BP version’s main function is blood pressure monitoring.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in 5 people suffer from high blood pressure, complications from which account for 9.4 million deaths worldwide. So Asus decided to do something to address the issue by introducing its new VivoWatch BP, a modern take on the typically clumsy and immobile blood pressure monitors from the likes of Omron. This latest VivoWatch is probably the most streamlined, compact, and lightweight design of its kind.
The VivoWatch BP uses two types of sensors to measure blood pressure – dual photoplethysmography (PPG) and electrocardiography (ECG) sensors. The sensors are mounted on both the watch case front and back. The sensors placed inside make contact with the wrist and the sensors in the front work with a finger press.
ECG and PPG sensors, supported by an A.I. machine-learning-based algorithm, work together to collect precise blood pressure measurements.
Electrical signals indicating heartbeat strength and timing are measured by the ECG sensors. PPG optical sensors on the other hand, measure the relative amounts of reflected light from the skin. The amount of reflected light changes as blood vessels and capillaries expand from higher blood volume when the heart beats and contracts when blood volume decreases between beats.
Pulse transit time (PTT), also known as pulse wave transit time (PWTT), is a valid measure of blood pressure that uses ECG-PPG heartbeat signal pairs.
The data from the sensor is translated by Asus algorithm into a systolic blood pressure reading (when the muscle contracts), diastolic pressure (between beats), and pulse or heart rate, measured in beats-per-minute (BPM).
According to Asus, the VivoWatch BP can deliver accurate blood pressure readings in just 15 seconds. You will be able to monitor your blood pressure at set times during the day, depending on how you configure the smartwatch. If you wear the watch while sleeping the smartwatch will even read your blood pressure while you sleep, said Asus.
To measure your blood pressure, you need to press a finger on the PPG sensor located at the top and hold it for 15-20 seconds.
Aside from blood pressure measurement, the VivoWatch BP also works as a standard health tracker, monitoring your heart rate, sleep patterns, and activity. Asus claims that the VivoWatch is also capable of monitoring the quality of your sleep and something the company calls de-stress index.
The Asus VivoWatch BP U.S. retail price will be $169, according to Engadget. Once Asus gets FDA approval, the watch will go on sale in the U.S. in 2019.