News Feature | January 19, 2017

Omron Introduces Smartwatch-Size Blood Pressure Monitor

By Suzanne Hodsden

omron wrist
Omron Healthcare debuted its HeartVue Wireless Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas

Omron Healthcare has miniaturized blood pressure monitor technology into a wearable device the size of a wristwatch, which can track blood pressure while monitoring physical activity and sleep. Omron introduced the Project Zero 2.0, as well as the HeartVue and Evolv, at a consumer technology conference and announced plans to commercially launch two of the three devices later this year.

Traditionally, patients have their blood pressure checked at a doctor’s office or pharmacy, but recent recommendations from the American Heart Association (AHA)  encourage home blood pressure monitoring to give patients and physicians a broader look at the condition over time, allowing for a better management plan. A study published in Circulation showed patients monitoring blood pressure at home were able to reduce their blood pressure numbers more than those patients only monitored during doctor visits.

At the recent Consumer Technology Association (CES) conference in Las Vegas, Omron introduced three new home blood pressure monitors, designed to connect via Bluetooth to the Omron Connect app, which tracks and can share the data with the patient’s doctor, stated a press release. The app tracks systolic, diastolic, and pulse readings, while maintaining data on body mass index (BMI) and weight so that patients can track their progress.

The Evolv system is a self-contained blood pressure monitor that is worn on the upper arm. Data is displayed on an outward facing monitor.  Multiple data points ensure more precise readings with clinical accuracy, and Omron plans to market the device later his year.

The HeartVue wrist blood pressure monitor was first introduced at CES in 2016. Omron claims the device will meet standards of clinical accuracy before it is launched later this spring, when it will become the smallest blood pressure monitor marketed by Omron.

Project Zero 2.0, still in development, builds on previous Omron technology to miniaturize blood pressure monitor technology into a wearable device the size of most smart watches, said Omron CEO Ranndy Kellogg.  When completed, the device will be the smallest blood pressure monitor on the market and will “revolutionize personal heart health technology” by encouraging lifesaving behavior.

“Omron continues to evolve the experience of checking your blood pressure with technology that is increasingly more portable, more mobile, more connected and easier to use,” said Kellogg. “The project 2.0 technology will redefine what have become standard notions of ‘wearable.’”

Approximately 75 million Americans — one in three adults — suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 54 percent of these patients have their condition under control. Uncontrolled hypertension is associated with a great risk of heart attack and stroke.

The self-care medical device market is expected to reach $16.9 billion per year by 2019, reported Transparency Market Research.  These devices are targeted at disease management and are designed to help patients avoid acute events associated with chronic illness. Both Philips and Nokia have recently expanded into this space.

Omron recently partnered with AliveCor, maker of FDA-cleared mobile electrocardiogram (ECG) technology, to integrate Omron’s blood pressure monitor technology into AliveCor’s ECG Kardia mobile app.  The finished app will provide patients with a complete, clinically validated view of their heart health at home.