Philips’ new Health Watch tackles chronic disease instead of fitness
Comparing the potential benefits of one fitness device to another can be difficult when the market is so saturated, and companies work hard to stand out from the competition. For Philips, that means medical devices instead of fitness devices. The new suite of health devices that Philips launched today, including the Philips Health Watch, targets people who have or risk developing chronic conditions such as hypertension. In addition to the watch, Philips has a smart scale, a thermometer, and two blood pressure monitors as part of its family of medical-grade consumer devices.
With its simple black frame and Gorilla Glass-covered display, the Philips Health Watch isn’t trying to be flashy or make a fashion statement. The watchface itself isn’t a touchscreen, but the bezel around it is, so you swipe and tap on the circumference of the watch to change the display. A bunch of quick views shows you stats like steps, calories burned, active time, and so forth, and tapping the top lets you access a detailed menu full of in-depth stats. You can even input what foods you’ve eaten directly into the watch, which means you don’t have to log every meal and snack through your phone.
Inside the $250 watch is a Philips-developed continuous optical heart rate monitor, as well as an accelerometer. In addition to basic metrics like steps, calories, and heart rate, this sensor also tracks resting heart rate, resting respiration rate, active time, sedentary time, and sleep. Even though the Health Watch is not a fitness device, it can automatically track running, walking, and biking so you don’t have to manually start tracking those exercises. The watch’s heart rate monitor is smart enough to know when your heart rate is consistently high, so it will register when you’re doing other kinds of workouts as well.