We first wrote about Omron’s HeartGuide oscillometric blood pressure monitoring watch last year following its initial unveiling at CES 2018. One year later, Omron has a release date and price for the highly anticipated wearable. According to Omron’s website, the HeartGuide Watch is scheduled to ship March 29, 2019, for $499 with free two-day shipping.
Omron’s HeartGuide is a pretty big deal not just because it’s the first wearable blood pressure monitor in a watch format, but because of the brand name. Other companies make blood pressure monitors, but Omron is the biggest dog in the hunt. When you go to your doctor’s office or a hospital emergency department, the odds are excellent the clinical staff will use an Omron device to take your blood pressure. Take a look at battery-operated blood pressure monitors at your local pharmacy, and you’ll most likely find that Omron rules the shelves. According to Omron’s figures, the company has 50% global market share of home use blood pressure monitors, ranging from 40% in Europe to 65% in the Asia-Pacific region (42% in the U.S.).
With both the power and the weight of the Omron brand behind the HeartGuide, the company took its time to get it right. Perhaps the most important feature of the new device is that it uses standard blood pressure measurement technology; only in a much smaller package. Omron took out than 80 new patents to miniaturize traditional oscillometric measurement via an inflatable cuff within a watch band. Unlike other wearables that use optical sensors to estimate blood pressure levels, the HeartGuide provides results that are consistent with Omron’s larger format cuff devices. It does not take continuous readings; you have to initiate the process of inflating the watch band to create the required pressure for a measurement.
In addition to blood pressure readings, the watch also measures activity and sleep quality and provides daily actionable insights based on the collected data.
The HeartGuide is Model BP8000-M in the Omron lineup. The watch weighs about 4.1 ounces. Powered by a Lithium-ion polymer rechargeable battery, the HeartGuide has a transflective memory-in-pixel LCD. Onboard memory retains up to 100 blood pressure measurements, seven days of activity, seven sleep quality measurements, and 100 events. The watch transmits data to associated iOS and Android smartwatches with low-energy Bluetooth, and should go two or three days between charges depending on how often you take readings.
In addition to the HeartGuide watch, the product box will contain a charging clip, charging cable, AC adapter, two replacement cuff sleeves, an instruction manual, and a quick start guide.