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Withings’ ScanWatch with built-in EKG is finally available in the US

Withings is studying a possible sleep apnea detection feature for the watch

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

After almost two years, the Withings ScanWatch is now available to purchase in the US after its announcement back at the beginning of 2020. The ScanWatch was waiting for clearance from the Food and Drug Administration, which it had received in October for its EKG and blood oxygen measurement features.

Unlike its competitors Apple Watch and Fitbit, both of whom can track blood oxygen and have EKG technology, Withings is claiming that the hybrid watch can detect sleep apnea, a sleep disorder charactered by disrupted breathing patterns. The ScanWatch is still a part of an ongoing clinical study for this claim.

Unlike Apple and Fitbit’s devices, the Withings ScanWatch also requires medical review. Users are required to gain medical clearance to fully access the EKG feature, Withings says. After 24 to 48 hours, users can access their first EKG reading in the HealthMate app that they can install on their connected phones. During that time, their readings are sent to Heartbeat Health, a healthcare technology company, where they will be consulted by a cardiology team for clinical interpretation, according to the company’s press release. This feature is only available if you’re over 22 years old, and in some states, you may be required to give your phone number so Heartbeat Health can contact you directly about the results.

That’s a lot of hoops to jump through for something Apple and Fitbit can effectively do with a tap — but it could be worth it if you want a smartwatch that looks more like a regular one. The Withings ScanWatch is available in both white or black and is priced starting at $279 for the 38mm and $299 for the 42mm. It is currently being sold on the Withings website, Amazon and Best Buy.

Correction: November 11, 11:57AM ET: A previous version of the dek of this piece suggested Withings is seeking FDA clearance for the sleep apnea feature. As of this date, they have not.