The latest company to throw its hat into the wearables arena is Philips, which recently unveiled a host of medical grade aimed at offering some high-tech alternatives to the Fitbits of the world. However, rather than target that ever popular and hungry millennial demo, Philips is going after an older generation with their line of wearables, placing more stock in substance over flash. Philips debuted five FDA-approved devices at once, which include a health watch, a wrist blood pressure monitor, an upper arm blood pressure monitor, a body analysis scale and an ear thermometer. These five gadgets are but a tease for what’s to come, with Philips promising a larger line of smart medical grade fitness devices down the road.
In order to establish the efficacy of these medical grade devices, Philips partnered with the top doctors and psychologists to get their feedback and usher in what the company hopes will be a new health and fitness wave with long-term goals in mind. Each of Philips’ five devices sync seamlessly with the Philips mobile app, and allows wearers to monitor metrics and data from all of the devices in one centralized and easy to manage dashboard. This is clearly meant to appease and attract an older audience and demo that doesn’t want to manage a bunch of different devices through multiple apps.
The health watch is your pretty standard fitness tracker, with walking, running, biking and sleep tracking metrics. However, it’s not as encompassing as other wearables or fitness trackers, which enable syncing to one’s phone for message, call, email and social notifications. Despite that, the Philips health watch does stand out from competitors in one key area: there’s a resting respiration rate feature, which offers the number of breaths you take per minute. This metric is an important one as one’s resting respiration rate normally increases when they’re sick.
As for the blood pressure monitors, they perform exactly as one expects with no added bells and whistles. Same goes for the smart scale, which closely matches those from Garmin and Withings. The ear thermometer will give you a body temperature number in a speedy two seconds, though. These might not be the next must-have gadgets, but with the FDA backing them, these medical grade wearables are handy devices to have if one is concerned about keeping up with their health and wellbeing. Philips isn’t looking to usurp the Apple Watch – its primary concern is keeping you fit and healthy.