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Huawei Watch D is a blood pressure monitor

Huawei Watch D

The Huawei Watch D took my blood pressure without sound at IFA 2022 in Berlin. Just some wearable tech doing what doctor’s office cuffs do. It was awkward and difficult.

Huawei announced the Watch D in May, but it just gained (or is close to gaining) European clearance as a health device. With Huawei’s low profile in the US, I don’t expect it to happen soon. Huawei let me and others at the exhibition test-drive the new smartwatch technology after regulatory permission.

Other wearable firms are working on blood pressure measuring, although they primarily use IR sensors. Non-Huawei Watch D. Real wrist-sized blood-pressure cuff.

Huawei Watch D Features

There are many interesting features about the device, but let’s focus on the blood pressure mechanism for now.

The Huawei Watch D, a little thicker health and fitness tracker, hides its pressure-reading abilities well. Technology is two-fold.

Huawei says the watch’s micro pump can generate 49 kilopascals of pressure. It links to a bladder or dual-layer airbag in the watchband that can read between 40 and 230 kPa (230 or higher is reason for concern).

No watch/band calibration. Instead, you measure your wrists to determine if you need a medium or large band (one watch size has two band sizes), and each band has many adjustments for a snug, but comfortable fit.

The watch’s rectangular face and clean interface are appealing. A blood-pressure-reading watch might look more medical, but it’s also for fitness (70 workouts) and other smartwatch activities. The band is larger and thicker than usual because of the inflatable bladders. It’s not noticeable or painful, though.

A Huawei representative placed the watch over my hand and onto my wrist before adjusting the clasp.

I observed him use the watch’s blood pressure app, then he urged me to relax, rest my arm over my chest, and unclench my fist (okay, I was a little nervous – I am a terrible patient).

The Watch D band bladder filled virtually silently when he pressed the side button. The increasing pressure felt like a firm hold on my wrist. It wasn’t painful or uncomfortable (basically like a regular blood pressure machine).

My reading, 132/100, flashed on the watch and a Huawei phone immediately. There, I got further reading details, including “hypertension (Stage 2)”. I’ll blame my high blood pressure on nerves and IFA stress since I just had a checkup.

Huawei claims this watch can measure ECG, heart rate, exercises, and smartwatch notifications for 7 days on a single battery. The manufacturer maintains this is with several sensor readings, including BP cuff. Stunning if true.

Bad news: Huawei Wach D is set to be approved for use in the EU, but the UK hasn’t. I don’t know if the watch will ever make it to the US, where the FDA is famously strict. Apple makes no medical claims about the Apple Watch.

What looks to be ground-breaking wearable technology may not be available to consumers for months, and big markets like the US may never see it. Huawei is pioneering wearables. This is diagnostic wearable tech. Will Apple try this?

I’d like to try the Huawei Watch again when I’m more relaxed to prove that my blood pressure is fine.

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