Back in March 2009 at the iPhone OS 3.0 debut event, Apple's Scott Forstall pointed out medical devices specifically as one of the more interesting class of peripherals that could leverage the new custom app interface capabilities. And while it's certainly an interesting concept -- keeping tabs on your general health from the comfort of your own home -- we haven't really seen it catch on (only a couple of products come to mind). That isn't stopping iHealth; the company's blood pressure dock, available today from its online store (we're told it should be filtering through Apple's own channels later this month) ties in with a specialized iPhone / iPod touch / iPad app to monitor and track blood pressure from the comfort of your home, where theoretically there shouldn't be a stranger in a white coat making you extra nervous. In our brief time with the device, the interface seemed fairly intuitive and the whole process simple and not at all intimidating. The cost of entry is $99.95 for the hardware; the free app should be hitting iTunes today. Press release after the break.

iHealth Blood Pressure Dock hands-on

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iHealth Blood Pressure Dock press photos

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iHealth Launches Breakthrough Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring System for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad

Joint hardware and app solution lets users test, track, and graph their blood pressure from home

LAS VEGAS, NV (CES) – January 4, 2010 – iHealth Lab Inc., a pioneering designer and manufacturer of digital personal healthcare products, today announced the launch of the iHealth Blood Pressure Monitoring System for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Comprised of a hardware dock, blood pressure arm cuff and iHealth App, this breakthrough product lets users self-monitor their blood pressure from the convenience of their home, and share the results with friends, family and most importantly, their doctor.

A recent report from Kaiser Permanente found that patients doing self-monitoring of their vitals were 50 percent more likely to have their blood pressure under control.

"Empowering people to manage their personal healthcare is our passion," said Yi Liu, CEO, iHealth Lab. "The future of health management starts with the individual. By identifying how daily activities affect one's vitals like blood pressure and heart rate, people can be more proactive about their personal healthcare."

How It Works

The iHealth Blood Pressure Monitoring System lets users measure and track their blood pressure and heart rate from the convenience of their iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. The system comes with a blood pressure arm cuff and a portable, battery-powered dock allowing for quick and easy set up. The dock also doubles as a charging station for all three iOS devices.

The companion iHealth App includes an easy-to-use interface with data and graphics that allow the user to view their blood pressure numbers, track them over time, and run reports. Users can easily access previously recorded data sets, view patterns by date and time of day and create custom graphs and charts. Users can also instantaneously share the results with their doctor, or loved ones.

"Regularly monitoring blood pressure in a relaxed, consistent setting gives users the most reliable information on the status of their cardiovascular health," said Dr. Andrew Brandeis, a practicing physician at Care Practice in San Francisco. "More important, iHealth-for the first time-reveals trends and fluctuations in the data and enables the user to easily share the information with their doctor."

Availability, Compatibility and Price

The iHealth Blood Pressure Monitoring System (battery-powered docking station and blood pressure arm cuff) is available for $99.95 from iHealth99.com.

The companion iHealth App is available for free from the App Store on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, or at www.iTunes.com/AppStore.

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iHealth blood pressure iPod dock: another sort of Apple to keep the doctor away