BERLIN - Smartwatches and fitness bands are getting better and better at tracking your heart rate and blood pressure, but they still don't provide the type of detailed information that you get when you see your doctor. Qardio is looking to find a middle ground with the QardioArm, which is a compact, $100 blood pressure monitor that syncs with your smartphone to provide you detailed health information anywhere you go.
When testing the QardioArm at IFA 2014, I strapped the brick-shaped device to my upper arm just like I would with a standard blood pressure monitor. As soon as I hit the start button on the accompanying Qardio app, the device began to tighten around my arm, a sensation familiar to anyone who visits his or her doctor's office regularly.
After a few seconds of gathering my vitals, the app displayed my systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure and heart rate. The Qardio app provides a chart view of your blood pressure over time, and can remind you when its time for your daily readings.
Hardware-wise, the Qardio is a 5.5 x 2.7 x 1.5-inch, 0.68-pound device that comes in white, blue and black. Using Bluetooth 4.0, the monitor syncs to iOS devices running 7.0 and up and Android devices with 4.4 or newer. You or your loved one shouldn't have to worry about charging often; the wearable touts a one-year battery life.
Qardio will soon expand its health product line to the QardioCore, which straps to your chest to provide ECG-like readings without all of the pesky wires and stickers. The Core model will also offer fitness tracking features and sync with the Qardio app when it arrives later this year.
Qardio's unique line of wearable products might not be as sleek as a fitness band, but their vast health tracking capabilities could prove invaluable. The QardioArm allows adults to easily stay on top of their relatives' blood pressure information, and the upcoming Core could prove useful in both medical and athletic environments.
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Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.