When it comes to personal health, it’s better to be right than first. At least, that’s what Philips is hoping as it launches its suite of connected smart health devices.

Of course, there’s a wearable. And surprisingly, it doesn’t look bad. If you’ve owned a smartwatch, Fitbit or something in between, you know the score. The Philips Health Watch will keep track of your activity, heart rate, and sleep patterns.

And it has a few extras. The company is promising ‘clinically validated’ data from the watch along with customizable reminders that you have in fact sat through the entire season 2 of Marco Polo. It’s probably time to get up and see the eternal blue sky. Just a thought.

Philips is edging against a fine line offering clinically validated data. What does that mean exactly? And where’s the book of fine print on that? Wearables are notorious for not being exact when it comes to heart rate monitoring.

Another bonus from the Health Watch is the ability to enter caloric intake directly on the watch or on the companion app. Hey, it launches on Android out of the box. That’s something.

The price is a bit confusing. Philips has it listed as $249.00 but points to Amazon who has it listed as a preorder at $299. I’d lean towards that being a placeholder page that Amazon will update to reflect the press release from Philips.

Philips Personal Health

Health Suite from Philips

The watch only tells you so much. Philips is launching an entire suite of companion products to help people living with chronic conditions or those looking to be a story if they ever reboot House.

A blood pressure monitor is available as either an upper arm cuff or the wrist cuffs we are used to seeing at the local pharmacy. It will offer the ability to monitor your heart rate and gives Philips another data point to arrive at the clinically validated data.

Can’t have personal health without a scale. Philips doesn’t disappoint with the body analysis scale. In addition to being connected with all the devices, it will monitor fluctuations in weight, estimate body fat and calculate BMI.

And to cap off its suite of connected devices is a smart thermometer. It stores your temperature over time and connects within the HIPAA-compliant cloud.

Philips is confident they can enter the market later than others thanks to the company’s pedigree in health technologies. They aren’t wrong in that assessment. Tracking closer to personal health monitoring over fitness is a smart play from the company. It differentiates themselves from the major players it the fitness wearables and put the focus on tracking risk factors over time.

“Driving meaningful innovation to help improve people’s health and wellbeing is part of our DNA at Philips,” said Jorgen Behrens, Business Leader, Personal Health Solutions, Philips. “We have a 100-year heritage of providing healthcare solutions, from oral health to cardiac care. We’re the only company with such extensive healthcare and consumer lifestyle expertise. We combine deep clinical know-how and rich data, consumer insights and advanced technology to craft solutions which help individuals along the whole of their health journey. Our personal health programs have been developed in conjunction with leading doctors, psychologists and other experts. They will allow individuals to accurately measure vital signs to understand how lifestyle choices affect their body; set goals and monitor their progress, and stay motivated.”

“Our personal health programs are different because they’re built to motivate the user, showing that small steps can lead to big results,” said Dr. Mark Aloia, Behavior Change Expert, Philips. “Changes don’t need to be radical. In fact, small changes sustained over time are a good way to help us reach our health goals. Measuring and tracking helps us take the small steps needed to improve our lifestyle. Our programs support you personally as you take those steps.”

The app and all the devices are available on Amazon and other retailers today. So, if you’ve been looking at the shiny new Fitbit, there’s a new game in town. For those tracking chronic conditions, it looks to be a better choice, but it’s not a replacement for your doctor.

Damn, and here Philips had my hopes up. But I don’t think they sell portable MRIs. I think the blood pressure cuff is for when they give you the DVD of your scan, and you get to do the Google Image search. Tumor? Probably not but I can damn sure give myself a nervous breakdown. And Philips will be able to monitor it. And tell me to get off my ass and go outside.


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