Huawei's health push: Sleep, mental wellbeing and blood pressure innovation

Huawei is no stranger to innovation in the wearables space, and 2024 is already shaping up to be a huge year for the company’s ambitions in Europe. 

Leveraging its extensive R&D resources, user insights, and cutting-edge technologies, the company is aiming to deliver the next generation of wearables with three key focuses – sleep, mental wellbeing, and blood pressure analysis.

At MWC 2024 in Barcelona, the company laid out its key focuses for the upcoming year – and Huawei Healthcare Research Scientist Inaki Romero and Huawei CBG EU Head of Product Andreas Zimmer took part in a panel at the Huawei booth to discuss how its wearables can be used to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Establishing the challenges

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Before delivering its latest innovations and features, Huawei has taken the time to understand the needs of those in Europe. 

Through the 2023 Huawei European Health Survey, the company – alongside market researcher Ipsos – was able to better understand how and why those on the continent aren’t entirely satisfied with their health.

In general, this research found that people would like more information to help improve their mental health – especially with relation to stress and sleep – and that smartwatches are the preferred method for tracking personal health and cultivating better habits.

Instead of a scattergun approach, then, Huawei managed to pin down the specific challenges facing those in Europe. As a result, the company has confirmed it will upgrade its sleep management and mental health logging features in 2024 through upcoming launches.

Bolstering serious health features

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It’s not just about boosting wellness features with a sleep tracking and mental health focus, however – Huawei also continues to advance the credentials of its wearables as serious health trackers.

Blood pressure continues to be a key part of this suite of health features, debuting on the Huawei Watch D in 2021 as the industry’s first wrist-based ECG and blood pressure monitor (BPM).

Not only is the Huawei Watch D considerably lighter than traditional BPMs, but it’s extremely accurate – it features a margin of error within ±3 mm Hg and is certified under the EU MDR framework.

Blood pressure technology will continue to be one of the company’s key focuses in 2024, with this joining other key health features available to Huawei smartwatch owners.

The Health Glance first made available on the Huawei Watch 4, for example, can measure seven key health indicators at once – ECG, heart rate, SpO2, arterial stiffness, stress levels, skin temperature, and respiratory health – in just 60 seconds.

It’s all backed up by continued improvements to the Huawei TruSeen 5.5+ health indicator monitoring technology, too. Through the latest upgrade, Huawei was able to improve the stability of comprehensive heart rate monitoring by 30% compared to older editions.

Leaning on R&D

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Conducting surveys is one way to outline priorities for the future, but Huawei has continued to invest heavily in R&D and partnerships with medical and academic institutions over the last decade, as well.

Most recently, in November 2023, the company opened the Huawei Health Lab in Helsinki – a laboratory that’s able to replicate multiple real-world workout environments in order to improve the company’s algorithms and accuracy.

It’s here, as well as through the additional Health Labs in Xi’an and Dongguan, where the company is able to continue the development of its self-developed TruSeen™ vital sign monitoring technology, too.

Not content to focus internally on the challenges facing smart wearables, though, Huawei has also been at the forefront of a number of key external initiatives.

In 2021, it worked with Professor Gregory Lip at the University of Liverpool to conduct a three-year research project into those at high risk of atrial fibrillation, as well as more recently becoming the only wearable manufacturer to join forces with iCARE4CVS, which is part of the EU’s Innovative Health Initiative.

These continue to drive forward and inform the company’s priorities in the health space, with Huawei also suggesting that it has plans in the future to establish blood glucose health research partnerships to identify the risk of hyperglycemia through proprietary fractal dimension algorithms.

Looking to the future

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Huawei continues to go from strength to strength in its native China, with its 2023 wearable shipments exceeding 150 million and it ending as the country’s most popular smartwatch maker for the fifth consecutive year. 

By continuing to successfully invest in its short-term and long-term ambitions in the smart wearables industry, it also further establishes itself as a major player in Europe, too.

A focus on sleep management features, blood pressure analysis, and mental health tracking tools helps it to provide users with the tools needed to sustain happy, healthy lives in 2024. 

And with extensive R&D projects and continued partnerships with major institutions, it also has one eye on tomorrow’s challenges.

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