Withings, the leader in the connected health revolution, announced the launch of the Pulse O2 activity tracker and a redesign of its companion app, Health Mate. The new device expands on the versatility of Withings’ original Pulse, adding a wristband accessory so users can wear it as a watch. The Pulse O2 also adds the ability to measure blood oxygen level in addition to heart rate, a first for the category. The updated Health Mate app now features real- time coaching that turns the data from Withings devices into actionable advice.
To promote long-term use and alleviate the inconvenience of single-purpose wearables, the Pulse O2 is designed to be worn a number of ways – whether it’s in a pocket, clipped to a user’s clothing, or worn on the wrist. Cédric Hutchings, CEO & co-founder of Withings explains: “Activity trackers have become very popular among health conscious consumers, but we recognize a responsibility to design devices that are very accessible for a large population to use consistently over the long term. It’s the only way they can have a real impact on health”. New automatic background synchronization via Bluetooth Low Energy and wake-up recognition also contribute to Pulse O2’s ease of use.
Two vital signs
Like its predecessor, the Pulse O2 tracks users’ activity, sleep, and heart rate. The improved device tracks a second vital sign, blood oxygen level, via an optical lens and light on the back of the unit a first for the category of activity trackers. Accurate blood oxygen readings can be critical for mountain climbers, athletes, and people with breathing problems like asthma and other COPDs. It’s also a way for anyone to quickly assess respiratory function.
New Health Mate App Along with the introduction of Pulse O2, Withings also released a major update to the Health Mate, the central user experience for all their products. The web and mobile application has been revamped to provide real-time coaching toward the user’s health objectives. Smart Insights help point out users’ progress, Healthy Reminders help them adopt the right habits, Virtual Badges provide rewards, and Leaderboards add a competitive element to staying healthy. All items appear in real-time on a new Timeline view to maintain daily motivation. According to Hutchings, “People are done with raw graphics! They want some kind of interpretation and, most importantly, some realistic call to action.”