Garmin has released its first smart blood pressure monitor, as it continues to flesh out its lineup of health-orientated connected devices.
The Index BPM Smart Blood Pressure Monitor is available now in the US for $149.99, integrating measurements such as systolic and diastolic blood pressure into the Garmin Connect app.
It doesn't appear as if these metrics will talk with one another just yet - so, for example, this won't be integrated into your Garmin watch and affect features like Training Readiness.
However, it is a great development for those who are already embedded in the Garmin ecosystem, and those who don't want to wait for the company to release a blood pressure feature for its wearables.
In terms of the actual smarts, users can set reminders to take their blood pressure, with reports also automatically compiled into seven-day, four-week or year-long summaries that can be saved as PDFs.
And, in a similar way to Garmin's Index S2 smart scale, multiple users can also take advantage of the device; up to 16 people can use the Index BPM to track their readings and sync to their individual Garmin Connect accounts.
It's adjustable, too, fitting arm sizes of 9 - 17 inches in circumference, and has a battery life of nine months, Garmin says, from four AAA batteries.
Currently, the Index BPM is FDA-cleared, which means that Garmin has been able to demonstrate the device is "substantially equivalent to another legally marketed device" that has clearance or approval.
In this case, an example of a similar product would be the Withings BPM Connect.
However, this is different from full FDA approval, which is only granted when the agency decides a product has benefits that outweigh the known risks.
It's unlikely that full approval will come to the Index BPM, of course, and the device itself doesn't offer anything groundbreaking in terms of features, but it does feel like a necessary step for the company to take as it progresses deeper into health monitoring.
In a way, we're surprised it took Garmin this long - and it may still take a while for the Index BPM to hit other territories - but we look forward to testing one out in the near future.
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