Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The Withings Body Comp Scale measures the health of your nerves and arteries

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Withings has some nifty ideas when it comes to smart scales, and for IFA 2022 it has announced the Body Comp. What makes the Body Comp stand out is that in addition to “normal” body composition, it can also assess the health of your blood vessels and nerves. In addition to the scale, Withings is also introducing a new Health Plus coaching service to help users achieve their goals.

Smart scales like the Body Comp all use BIA to send a weak current through your body to determine how much muscle, water, bone, and fat you have. (You should always take the accuracy and health claims of this scale with a grain of salt, though.) What’s new here is that users can assess their vascular age, visceral fat, and nerve health from a single device. Visceral fat refers to the fat that covers your organs. It affects the hormones in your body and too much can disrupt your metabolism and heart health. The vascular age metric is based on: pulse wave speed:, or how fast pressure waves move through a blood vessel. It indicates how stiff a person’s arteries are and whether that is appropriate for their age. People whose vascular age is older than their actual chronological age may be at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular problems later on.

Visceral fat and vascular age aren’t new to Withings scales, but nerve health is. Withings previously teased the stat at CES 2022 when it announced its Body Scan scale. (It had handles and ECG capabilities.) However, the Body Comp is the first Withings scale to actually use the feature. It works by stimulating the sweat glands of your feet. According to Withings, low activity may indicate that small nerve fibers are degenerating.

Metrics are great, but a boatload of data isn’t helpful without context or guidance – which is why Withings’ new Health Plus service sounds intriguing. Health Plus reportedly unlocks new details and stats, then suggests behavioral changes that users can make to improve their health. For example, you can record your food, mood, and sleep, and make notes about conditions that may affect a specific reading. It also gives users daily plans, suggested workouts, and recipes. Users will then have access to a series of six-week modules designed to improve activity, sleep, stress management and nutrition. In addition, the service generates weekly reports that can be shared with physicians.

Of course, services usually come with subscriptions, and this is no exception. For now, the Health Plus service is only available if you purchase the Body Comp scale. The scale’s $209.95 price also includes a 12-month subscription. After that first year, Withings spokesperson Emmanuel Abreu told: The edge that renewing a Health Plus subscription costs $79.95 per year. Abreu also said Health Plus will also be available on the Body Scan when it launches and will roll out to other compatible devices in the future.

The Body Comp scale will be available on the Withings website on October 4.

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