A Smartwatch For Battling High Blood Pressure

Most smartwatches generally do two main things: they work as a watch, and they work as a fitness tracker. At Computex 2018, ASUS announced they were tackling a different market: a smartwatch that doubles as a blood pressure monitor.

Image: Alex Walker

The VivoWatch BP is a smartwatch with one major difference: by tapping your index finger onto a small point on the top left of the device, you’ll be able to take your blood pressure.

The device takes about 15 to 20 seconds to get a reading, reporting back your systolic and diastolic pressure on the main screen. There’s also a heart rate tracker, and the whole device syncs with your phone to track exercise, sleep, and more.

ASUS’s pitch with the Vivowatch BP was a predicted rise in hypertension, but even with rising blood pressures worldwide this is probably a device that’s targeted more at older Australians. That partially explains the physical design too: the Vivowatch uses a plastic strap for the design, which while not the fanciest material, does have the benefit of being very light.

On top of that, it’s accessible. Blood pressure monitors are still chunky devices, and they’re far from portable. The Vivowatch BP is something your parents or grandparents could reasonably wear and use on a regular basis.

One sticking block is that all of the functionality is running through ASUS themselves, which adds an extra barrier of complication when it comes to getting third-party support. The UX design is also fairly simple, and not particularly customisable.

But that’s not really the target market here, either. If you’ve got someone in your life who should check their blood pressure regularly, but forgets or refuses to, this might make that job a little easier.

It’s only being sold in Taiwan initially, with Australian availability and pricing unknown at the time of writing. We’ll let you know when it hits our shores.

The author travelled to Computex 2018 as a guest of ASUS.

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