The Withings Body Comp scale measures the health of your nerves and arteries
Withings has some nifty ideas when it comes to smart scales, and for IFA 2022 it announced the Body Comp. What sets the Body Comp apart is that it can assess the health of your arteries and nerves in addition to “normal” body composition. Withings is also introducing a new Health Plus coaching service alongside the scale 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. (However, you should always take the accuracy and health claims of these scales with a grain of salt.) What’s new here is that users can assess their vascular age, visceral fat, and nerve health at from a single device. Visceral fat refers to the fat that protects your organs. It influences your body’s hormones, and too much can harm your metabolism and heart health. The measurement of vascular age is based on pulse wave velocity, or the rate at which pressure waves travel through a blood vessel. It indicates how stiff a person’s arteries are and whether this is appropriate for their age. People whose vascular age is older than their actual chronological age may have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular problems in the future.
Visceral fat and vascular age aren’t new to Withings scales, but nerve health is. Withings teased the metric earlier at CES 2022 when it announced its Body Scan scale. (That one had handles and ECG capabilities.) However, the Body Comp is the first Withings scale to actually use this feature. It works by stimulating the sweat glands in your feet. According to Withings, low activity may indicate that small nerve fibers are degenerating.
The metrics are great, but a boatload of data isn’t useful without context and guidance – which is why Withings’ new Health Plus service looks intriguing. Health Plus allegedly unlocks new details and metrics, then suggests behavioral changes users can adopt to improve their health. For example, you can log your food, mood, and sleep, and write notes about circumstances that may have impacted a specific reading. It also gives users daily plans, suggested workouts, and recipes. Users can then access a series of six-week modules designed to improve activity, sleep, stress management and nutrition. On top of all that, the service generates weekly reports that can be shared with doctors.
Of course, services tend to come with subscriptions, and this is no exception. For now, the Health Plus service will only be available if you purchase the Body Comp scale. The scale’s $209.95 cost also includes a 12-month subscription. After this first year, Withings spokesperson Emmanuel Abreu said The edge that renewing a Health Plus subscription will cost $79.95 per year. Abreu also said that 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 October 4 on the Withings website.