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Omron's blood pressure monitor looks more like a smartwatch than a medical device

Omron's blood pressure monitor looks more like a smartwatch than a medical device


At least it's backed by peer-reviewed research

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Getting your blood pressure checked has long been a staple of your average doctor's visit. But Omron Healthcare wants people to know their blood pressure without having to trudge to the clinic. The company, known for its commercial BPM monitors, has two new devices its showing off at CES, which look much sexier than other comparable products.

The two new devices, dubbed "Project Zero" monitors, can take measurements without a doctor's oversight. One is your standard upper arm blood pressure monitor, that shows your results on a tiny display screen. But the more impressive product is a new wrist blood pressure monitor. These types of devices aren't new, but Omron's black tiny wearable looks more like your standard smartwatch than a bulky medical device.

Omron's devices aren't your average pseudo-science wearables

Typically, measuring blood pressure from the wrist is tricky; your arm has to be in the right position in order to get an accurate reading. It's why most doctors recommend taking measurements from the upper arm instead. But Omron says it has an easy fix for that. Sensors in the wrist device figure out how you're holding your arm, and alert you to move it. Once your arm is at heart level — the right position for blood pressure measurements — the gadget gets to analyzing.

Omron's devices aren't your average pseudo-science wearables. They're FDA-approved products that have been validated through peer-reviewed research. These new devices haven't received regulatory clearance just yet, but Omron claims they meet the gold standards for accuracy in blood pressure monitoring. Such products could be useful tools for people to use at home, letting them know if they're at risk for hypertension — a condition that affects one out of three American adults. The Project Zero devices should be ready for sale sometime in late 2016 and will cost around $200.

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