ScanWtach is Able to Detect Atrial Fibrillation of the Heart

Futura has tested the connected watches offered by the French brand Withings on numerous occasions. Depending on the model, these hybrid watches combine an elegant classic needle dial, an analog counter displaying the percentage of steps taken during the day and, for more advanced models, such as the Steel HR and HR Steel Sport, a small Pmoled screen that can display some information, including heart rate and mobile notifications.

Equipped with an accelerometer, the watches automatically detect, but with more or less reliability, the type of physical activity practiced (walking, running, swimming, cycling, etc.). It is also possible to choose one manually among the thirty activities offered. You should know that this brand of watches is not especially intended for the more athletic, but especially for people who want to monitor their health to keep fit.

A small medical lab on the wrist
But, with its new ScanWtach, Withings goes even further. More than an activity tracker, we wear on the wrist a real tool for detecting certain diseases, such as atrial fibrillation, the most common of cardiac arrhythmias. The watch also knows how to detect respiratory disturbances during sleep or to check the oxygen saturation in the blood. In a way, the ScanWatch is one of a kind.

To detect the possible presence of atrial fibrillation, the watch adds an electrocardiogram (ECG) to its sensors. For this, it has two electrodes on the underside of the watch. A third electrode is formed by the dial. To read the ECG, watch on your wrist, you must trigger the option with the dial and place the fingers of the other hand on the metal case without moving for 30 seconds. This method then makes it possible to measure the electrical activity of the heart.

The measurements of this system have been medically validated by two studies carried out with the Georges Pompidou European Hospital and the North Cardiology Center. In our test, we did find that the ECG was able to successfully detect the presence of atrial fibrillation in a person with this type of cardiac arrhythmia.

It is under the underside of the watch that are located the various sensors and electrodes used to capture the heart rate, the level of oxygen saturation of the blood and perform the ECG.

To measure the oxygen saturation in the blood, the principle is the same. Again, this function has been validated by a study conducted by the Hipoxia Lab at the University of California in San Francisco, United States. Among its other talents, the ScanWatch also knows how to detect the quality of sleep and in particular sleep apnea. The watch can perform respiratory scans to detect respiratory disturbances thanks to the PPG sensor and the accelerometer from an analysis of the oxygen level in the blood, movements and heart and respiratory rates. Regarding sensors again, if the watch still does not have GPS, it encloses an altimeter which allows the number of floors climbed to be recorded.

For the moment, Withings has not yet had validation of this function for detecting sleep disorders due to the health context. The study is being carried out in partnership with the Antoine-Beclere hospital and should lead to CE medical certification before the end of the year.

A discreet and elegant connected watch
On the design side, the brand is moving upmarket. Elegant and discreet, the ScanWatch consists of a stainless steel case. The sapphire crystal should protect it from scratches. The whole gives an impression of robustness. It comes in two versions with a 38mm (€ 279.95) or 42mm (€ 299.95) case. It is the latter that we tested. It wants to be a little more sport-oriented, but in reality, it is all-purpose. The small round Pmoled screen that we already found on the Steel HR and Steel HR Sport gets a little bigger and also becomes brighter. It is able to display the mobile notifications and in particular the SMS which it is also possible to scroll by turning the dial.

It is with the latter that we go from one menu to another and by pressing the button, a function is activated. This could be the digital time display in the dark, for example. Each time a section is displayed, the watch vibrates. When the hands hide the screen reading, they move indicating 10:10 a.m. and return to their position when the screen is put on standby.

The mark indicates that the ScanWatch has an autonomy of 30 days and it is true that after 15 days of.

Reviewer overview

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