Tech for your connected self

Health tracking from the wrist: Apple Watch compatible health devices to own

Meet the connected health kit that plays nice with Apple's smartwatch

The Apple Watch grows in power and capability with every new version that the folks at Cupertino put out. You can also enhance the wearable even further with the right choice of accessories and add-ons.

But we're not talking Apple Watch straps or somewhere to drop your smartwatch when you need to charge it at night. We're heading into the serious health tracking realms where there are now devices that bring the Apple Watch into the equation to help closely monitor a range of health conditions.

Essential reading: Apple Watch Series 4 investigation

Until Apple finds a way to put the tech inside of its smartwatch like its rumored health chips to closely monitor things like glucose intake, blood pressure and heart health, this is the dedicated kit that can do it now that also makes good use of the Apple Watch in the process.

AliveCor KardiaBand EKG reader

best health tracking accessories for apple watch

Now officially approved by US regulators, the KardiaBand fits to your Apple Watch in place of the regular band, and then watches for discrepancies between your heart rate and your activity status to see if anything's wrong.

If you're sat still and your heart rate is sky high, for example, then that could be a sign that something's amiss. When a potential problem is identified, the KardiaBand prompts you to take another EKG or electrocardiogram to analyse your heart rate further.

The results of that EKG show up on the Apple Watch display and on your iPhone and can alert you (and later on your doctor) if something serious is going on. The band is also able to detect atrial fibrillation, a common heart malfunction affecting millions of people worldwide.

As well as paying for the KardiaBand itself, you also need to sign up for a $9.99/month premium subscription to the associated Kardia app.

$199.99, AliveCor.com | Amazon

One Drop Chrome Blood Glucose Monitoring Kit

best health tracking accessories for apple watch

The One Drop Chrome Blood Glucose Monitoring Kit doesn't need an Apple Watch to work—it functions just fine with only an iPhone—but if you do have an Apple Watch then you can use it to access the same data.

The kit is intended for people with diabetes, enabling users to log and analyse blood sugar levels, food intake, medications and activities through one central portal. You get a lancer for taking a speck of blood from your finger, 100 testing strips, and a blood measuring meter approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the US. In short, everything you need to manage diabetes.

With the Apple Watch support, the associated app can show all of your data on your wrist, whether that's over the last 24 hours or the last week—blood glucose, medications taken, food eaten, or activity completed. It lets you keep an eye on your health with a glance. As you would expect all the data can be shared with health professionals if needed.

To get an unlimited number of test strips for interrupted monitoring, you can sign up for the One Drop Premium subscription service, which will set you back $39.95 a month or $399.95 a year (and gets you a $20 discount on the initial hardware too).

$99.95, OneDrop.today | Amazon

QardioArm

best health tracking accessories for apple watch

The QardioArm is a blood pressure monitor that recently added full support for the Apple Watch, so you can bring up your past stats, take a new reading, and share your heart health information with other people right from your wrist.

The device itself is a cinch to use, wrapping around your arm just like the blood pressure monitors you'll know from the clinic. It takes an average of three measurements and then beams the results over to an iPhone wirelessly, dropping the readings into the Apple Health app as well as the Qardio app if needed.

Using the app you can track irregularities over time, collate information to share with your doctor, compare your results against stats from the World Health Organisation, and even track your readings on a map (maybe the office is causing you too much stress).

Approved for use in both Europe and the US, the QardioArm becomes even more useful when you pair your Apple Watch up with the app. The app also works with the QardioBase smart scale, if you want to track weight as well.

$99, GetQardio.com | Amazon

Nokia BPM Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor

Tracking from the wrist: Apple Watch compatible health devices to own

For a blood pressure monitor that works wirelessly with your Apple Watch (and your iPhone or your iPad), this Nokia device is hard to beat: it can sync to the Nokia Health Mate app on your phone or tablet, and from there to your watch, and from there to Apple Health if needed.

Anyone can set up and use the Nokia BPM monitor – you just slip it on and press the button, or tap your Apple Watch to begin taking readings. Measurements take around 60 seconds, and then you get your blood pressure up on screen.

Whether you spend most time looking at it on your watch or your phone (or tablet), the app excels at showing you trends and measurements over time, highlighting potential issues or reassuring you that everything's okay. It can also alert you to hypertension, as set defined by US and European health bodies.

A few taps are enough to get the data in a format that can be shared with your doctor too. Definitely recommended for those who want to keep a closer eye on their blood pressure, and who favour the Apple Watch as their wearable of choice.

£89.95/$99.95, Nokia.com | Amazon

MyID Sleeve Medical ID

best health tracking accessories for apple watch

The MyID Sleeve Medical ID is a small add-on for your Apple Watch that includes a link to all of your medical information—emergency contacts, allergies, current medication, even who your doctor is.

You store all of this medical information in an app, and the sleeve includes access to it via a QR code, a website URL, and a phone number. The idea is that emergency responders can get at your medical details as quickly as possible, without having to dig around for your phone or open up an app.

The sleeve just slips on top of your current Apple Watch strap, and it's compatible with all models of the wearable, both 38mm and 42mm sizes. It sits unobtrusively besides your wrist and is there when you (or someone treating you) needs it.

iOS offers some of this functionality already through the Apple Health app, but a MyID Sleeve Medical ID on your Apple Watch makes your medical data even more accessible. For a $1.99/month subscription you can unlock extra features, like notifications for your emergency contacts, but most of the functionality is free after your initial purchase.

$19.95, MyID.com


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Nokia BPM Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor

For a blood pressure monitor that works wirelessly with your Apple Wat

ch

(and your iPhone or your iPad), this Nokia device is hard to beat: it

can

sync to the Nokia Health Mate app on your phone or tablet, and from

there to your watch, and from there to Apple Health if needed

.

Anyone can set up and use the Nokia BPM monitor

you just slip it on and

press the button, or tap your Apple Watch to begin taking readings.

Measurements take around 60 seconds, and then you get your blood

pressure up on screen.

Whether you spend most time looking at it on your watch or your ph

one

(or tablet), the app excels at showing you trends and measureme

nts over

time, highlighting potential issues or reassuring you that everythin

g's

okay. It can also alert you to hypertension, as set defined by US a

nd

European health bodies.

A few taps are enough to get the data in a format that can be shared

with

your doctor too. Definitely recommended for those who want t

o keep a

closer eye on their blood pressure, and who favour the Apple Watch

as

their wearable of choice.

£89.95/$99.95,

Apple


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