ASUS at Computex 2018 unveiled a new smartwatch called the VivoWatch BP, which puts a focus on health tracking.

The device takes advantage of ASUS’ HealthAI technology to enable users to keep track of their health stats including heart rate, sleep quality, activity data and distress index.

On top of that, the VivoWatch BP also provides real-time blood pressure measurements in 15 seconds. This is something that isn’t normally found in most smartwatches. Usually intelligent timepieces can only measure heart rate or blood oxygen levels.

Given how blood pressure is measured, this is not something that can be easily achieved on a wearable device. Well, the ASUS VivoWatch BP employs a novel method that’s quite experimental. No inflatable cuffs required.

The watch uses an ECG sensor for reading heart rate that works in concert with an optical PPG sensor to detect blood flow. Together they provide users with their upper and lower systolic and diastolic numbers.

How do you measure your blood pressure using the watch?

It’s easy, simply put your index finger on the sensor on the watch’s face and wait a few seconds (ASUS claims 15).

The company says the smartwatch was build using medical-grade materials and that it’s 70% smaller and 50% lighter than current wrist-bound blood pressure monitors. It promises a battery life of 28 days with normal usage.

But while the VivoWatch BP might be a step forward for health tech, it’s nothing special by smartwatch or sport watch standards. The wearable is quite bulky and unattractive in terms of design. But if you care more about keeping tabs on your blood pressure than looking stylish, then this smartwatch might be indeed for you.

The VivoWatch BP runs a proprietary operating system, not Wear OS, but it can connect to a smartphone via a mobile app.

ASUS is pricing its new smartwatch at $169, which is pretty affordable. The gadget will go on sale in Taiwan by the end of July, and in Europe in August. Unfortunately, it’s unclear whether the wearable will ever land on the US market.

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