Consumer electronics specialist Withings is looking to expand its footprint in biometric health tracking. The company has launched a new smart scale, and made a potentially important acquisition.
The Withings Body Scan scale was unveiled at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show. In addition to four weight sensors promising a body weight measure that is accurate within 50 grams, the scale also features ECG capabilities via a series of electrodes, enabling the smart scale to measure heart rate and the estimate the user’s “vascular age”, as TechCrunch reports.
The smart scale also features a multi-frequency Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis capability enabling it to estimate the user’s body composition – that is, percentages of fat, muscle, water, and bone.
Withings is hoping these sophisticated health-tracking capabilities will justify the Body Scan scale’s $299 price tag.
The company went on from CES 2022 to announce that it had acquired Impeto Medical, a developer of medical devices for physicians. Impeto Medical is best known for its SUDOSCAN technology, which is designed to measure the release of chloride ions from sweat glands in response to electric stimuli on the hands and feet. That, in turn, can enable the detection of damage or dysfunction in small nerves.
In announcing the acquisition, Withings noted that its new Withings Body Scan scale is the first of its products to incorporate Impeto’s SUDOSCAN technology, with CEO Mathieu Letombe suggesting that there will be more to follow.
“We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Impeto Medical as we welcome its experience and technologies into the Withings portfolio,” he said, adding that now that Impeto is a part of his own firm, “he company and its team have been important partners to us in the past. Now, as part of Withings, we have an exciting opportunity to continue to deploy together their expertise and Sudoscan technology in the development of a variety of devices that have the potential for people to monitor and manage various disease states from the comfort of their home.”
The development may reflect a growing convergence between medical-grade sensor technology and consumer-focused fitness tracking solutions, with glucose monitoring specialist Abbott having announced a new line of consumer-focused wearable devices earlier this month.
Withing’s Body Scale is currently awaiting FDA approval, with Letombe having suggested that he expects the device to launch in the second half of 2022.
January 12, 2022 – by Alex Perala