Yesterday morning, the internet blew up with the news that Nokia would be selling its health division back to Withings; the company that they initially purchased in 2016 as part of their expansion into digital health. Following a rebrand of the Withings product line, Nokia re-launched a number of the French startup’s products in 2017 including their Body Cardio smart scale. Less than one year later, however, owners of the device were the recipients of an email announcing that the product’s pulse wave velocity measurement feature – the primary feature that separated it from other digital scales - would be removed effective immediately.
While the initial announcement cited FDA regulations as the primary cause, it quickly became clear that there were other factors driving the decision. Most significantly, the new product line was simply failing to perform. Details of the deal are yet to shared but it’s expected that the $190 million that Nokia paid to acquire Withings will go down as a loss.
Different techniques: pulse wave velocity testing with Withings’ Body Cardio smart scale vs. iHeart Internal Age
Pulse wave velocity (PWV) has been gaining traction among the health-conscious population over the last few years as the next most important health metric. PWV is a measure of stiffness in the arteries and one question we’re often asked here at iHeart is, “How can pulse wave velocity be tracked in the fingertip?”
With its unique approach to PWV testing, iHeart offers a new way to monitor overall health. Stiffness of the aorta, the body’s largest artery which runs parallel to the spine through the centre of the body, is increasingly being proven as a reliable indicator of risk for cardiovascular disease, brain disease, and as a signifier of overall organ health (see studies linked at bottom). By focusing on the arrival of a reflected wave of pressure in the fingertip, called the aortic reflected wave, iHeart is able to assess stiffness of specifically the aorta, which is where it differs from other PWV testing applications.
While the Body Cardio smart scale uses pulse waves in the feet to assess arterial stiffness throughout the body’s entire circulatory system, iHeart is able to isolate this aortic reflected wave and focus very specifically on stiffness of the aorta. From here, the fingertip device (and mobile app) can provide testers with their Internal Age on the understanding that aortic stiffness is an indicator of organ health and risk of death caused by organ failure.
- Aortic Pulse Wave Velocity: An Independent Marker of Cardiovascular Risk
- Wave reflection and arterial stiffness in the prediction of 15-year all-cause and cardiovascular mortalities: a community-based study
- Prediction of cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality with central haemodynamics: a systematic review and meta-analysis
- Reflection Magnitude as a Predictor of Mortality