iHealth Labs recently launched iHealth Clear, its newest addition to the growing product line of mHealth devices. With five other blood pressure cuffs on its line (iHealth Sense, View, Feel, Ease, and the Blood Pressure Dock), this sixth product is unique in that it offers a voice-supported smart blood pressure monitor (BPM) that uses a stand-alone display to show results and comparison charts, thereby eliminating the need to rely on a smartphone app. The iHealth Clear still has matching smartphone app, so all the advanced options such as historic tracking are available.
This new device has been FDA approved and is BHS certified for accuracy. On its large 4.3” screen is displayed the expected systolic and diastolic pressures, along with the heart rate. Pushing any button will begin the blood pressure measurement. Relative to the most recent reading, iHealth Clear will immediately display a color coded indication of which stage of hypertension the user’s readings fall under, as well as the changes in values (e.g., diastolic pressure is 8 mmHg lower than last time).
The device can be paired with the smartphone via WiFi and supports up to two users, storing up to 2,000 offline readings. Interestingly, the device also offers other information, such as outdoor and indoor temperature. The app offers a sort of digital logbook, allowing the user to track trends over time and do personal analysis of his or her health records. The iHealth Clear Wireless BPM currently retails for $99.
Founder, Wade Shu, was able to join us to answer some questions.
Alice Ferng, Medgadget: Why was the iHealth Clear device created as a WiFi device instead of as a BLE device? Was there an intended use case or scenario that favored this design?
Wade Shu, iHealth Labs, Inc.: iHealth Clear is designed for home use where has Wifi coverage with long distance while BLE has much shorter distance. In addition, Wifi is much more stable than BLE connectivity with less interference. The quality of BLE connectivity varies from phones to phones.
Medgadget: How is this device different from other devices on the market? Do you expect this device to perform better than your other devices, such as the Feel, which has a smaller profile and may more portable?
Mr. Shu: It’s targeted for different markets. iHealth Clear is positioned as Blood Pressure Monitor for family and home use with the digital display. iHealth Feel is positioned as portable Blood Pressure Monitor anywhere anytime.
Medgadget: Which BP cuff is your most popular and best-selling one?
Mr. Shu: Standard BP Cuff. 8.6” – 16.5″
Medgadget: How was the decision made to include voice readouts of the recorded data? Was there a demand for this feature?
Mr. Shu: For elderly or vision impaired population who have difficulty in reading any digital display, this feature would help them hear the readings without looking.
Medgadget: What are future features of the app related to this device? Will there be guidance for users that have a record of pre-hypertension or Stage 1/2 HTN or further feedback aside from how their systolic or diastolic pressures have increased/decreased over readings?
Mr. Shu: That’d be our next stage of new features based on big data analytics in addition to today’s BP reading and trending.
Medgadget: There is a feature to display indoor and outdoor temperature – is this data, and/or other data collected, used in the health analysis of the app somehow?
Mr. Shu: Very good question. We understand temperate has the effect on blood pressure reading, generally higher in winter and lower in summer. The data is not used in the analysis today, will be considered for big data analytics along with other factors.
Medgadget: Any features or details you’d like to mention about your device that are unique? Or important changes/updates coming?
Mr. Shu: Readings are represented by four different colors, as per the JNC standards to clearly see the blood pressure. In addition, voice readout will help any users who are visually impaired to hear their blood pressure readings.
Product page: iHealth Sense…