Nokia has announced that it’s pulling the Pulse Wave Velocity (PWV) feature from its Body Cardio smart scale due to regulatory approval issues. The removal will come in a mandatory software update on January 24th, and Nokia isn’t offering any details as to when (or even if) the feature will be returning. For now, the company has suspended sales of the Body Cardio, although it plans to resume them sometime in the first few months of the year with the feature removed.
The Body Cardio scale first went on sale in 2016, when it was called the Withings Body Cardio scale. It differed from the company’s original smart scale with the addition of the aforementioned pulse wave velocity tech, which measures the rate at which arterial pulse spreads through your arteries. (In more practical terms, think of it as measuring how fast your blood flows through your veins.)
No word on when or even if the feature will return
Pulse wave velocity measurements have existed for a while in the medical field, and are generally viewed as a useful measure of arterial stiffness, along with other aspects of cardiac health like hypertension or high blood pressure. The Body Cardio scale is only classified with the FDA as a “wellness device,” however, which doesn’t require testing and paperwork. (That also means that it can’t make medical claims.)
According to Nokia, the company made the decision to remove PWV measurements from the Body Cardio on its own without prompting from the FDA after discovering that the feature could cause the device to no longer fall under the “wellness device” classification in certain jurisdictions.
The only feature being affected by the regulatory issue is the pulse wave velocity measurements. The rest of the scale’s functions, including weight and heart rate reading, will remain. But given that the PWV tracking was one of the marquee features of the Body Cardio (it’s right there in the name) that separated it from the cheaper Body and Body+ models, Nokia has a refund program for disappointed existing Body Cardio customers that offers either a $30 coupon, or the chance to return the scale for a full refund.
Update January 22nd, 2:35 pm: Nokia has clarified that the removal of pulse wave velocity measurements was not prompted by the FDA, but rather a proactive choice by the company after discovering that the pulse wave velocity measurements may prevent the Body Cardio scale from falling under the “wellness device” exemptions in some jurisdictions. This post has been updated to reflect this new information.