Telehealth services have been on the upswing since the Covid-19 pandemic, but some health data isn't easy to track at home. Now, healthtech company Withings is making tracking your vitals — and sharing them with your doctor — easier with the BeamO, a 4-in-1 gadget that works as an oximeter, stethoscope, and thermometer, as well as being able to take an ECG reading. Combined, this makes it easy to monitor heart and lung health at home with only a single device.
For the most part, these are things that you can already track at home with various devices. Thermometers and oximeters are common and inexpensive. Many high-end smartwatches and fitness wearables can also take an ECG to monitor heart health. But digital stethoscopes aren't common in the consumer market, and unlike temperature or blood oxygen levels (SpO2, the sound of your heart and lungs is something that's hard to share over a telehealth visit. BeamO's real innovation is packing all these features into a single device.
It's extremely easy to measure your vitals with the BeamO. To measure SpO2 levels and heart rate and take an ECG, you simply have to grip the device lightly. Temperature is measured with an advanced infrared thermometer. Using the digital stethoscope is a bit more complicated since it requires you to place the device properly to record your heart and lungs, but straightforward tutorials will walk you through the process.
All of this data goes into the Withings app, and even without the BeamO, it's a solid health-tracking app that keeps tabs on a lot of data, syncing with all of your Withings devices as well as a number of other health apps. From there, it's simple to share any of your health data with your doctor in just a few clicks. During a telehealth visit, you can also stream stethoscope audio for your doctor to hear and guide placement.
Could this be the future of home healthcare tech? Maybe. BeamO offers a unique combination of features that will be a boon to anyone who has specific health needs that require regular – and accurate – tracking of this data. However, it isn’t for everyone: at a price of $249.95, it’s probably not something you’ll buy for the occasional online checkup. However, as technology like this becomes more common – and more doctors' offices start using it – it could be a significant home healthcare tool.
The device is waiting on FDA clearance of its ECG capabilities, including official approval for the device to track atrial fibrillation (or AfiB). Once approved, Withings expects the BeamO to be available in June 2024.
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