This story has been updated.
Philips Healthcare launched a health watch, a connected scale, a blood pressure monitor, and a thermometer, putting its stake in the increasingly competitive connected devices markets.
Research has found that about 90% of chronic conditions like diabetes can be prevented through lifestyle changes, Eline de Graaf, director at Philips Personal Health Solutions, North America, said in an email.
This statistic led Philips Healthcare, which makes healthcare products like mammography machines and fetal monitoring technology, to enter the connected devices market with the global launch of four connected wearable and sensor-based technologies.
In recent years companies like Apple, WebMD, and iBeat have created health-monitoring apps specifically designed for smartwatch products, making them more desirable to consumers.
Not all of them have been sanctioned by regulators. A Philips spokesperson said the health watch and body analysis scale are listed with the FDA, and the blood pressure monitor and ear thermometer received FDA clearance. Gaining approval or clearance from the FDA may confer a possible edge in the market against similar products.
However, late last month the agency issued guidance clarifying that its Center for Devices and Radiological Health “does not intend to examine” such products as long as they are only intended for general wellness and present a low safety risk.
Consumers “understand that there is a need for active health management to stem the rising tide of chronic diseases and unhealthy lifestyles,” Pieter Nota, EVP and CEO of personal health at Royal Philips, said in an emailed statement.
Philips’ new personal health programs were developed with leading doctors and psychologists to encourage small and sustainable behavior changes, Philips said. The connected devices target people who are at risk for chronic diseases and are aware that these diseases are lifestyle-related. With the help of these programs, Philips said consumers will be able to measure and monitor their health and stay motivated to manage it properly, ultimately reducing their risk of developing such diseases.
The health watch, priced at $249.99, automatically measures heart rate, sleep patterns, and other health biometrics. The upper arm blood pressure monitor ($99.99) and the wrist blood pressure monitor ($89.99) both measure systolic and diastolic blood pressure as well as heart rate. The body analysis scale, which costs $99.99, measures weight, estimates body fat, and calculates body mass index of consumers, and the ear thermometer, priced at $59.99, measures body temperature in just two seconds. Consumers can purchase these products on Philips’ website, www.usa.philips.com, or on Amazon.com.
A marketing campaign for the devices is expected to launch later this month, said de Graaf. She declined to provide the budget.