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January 10, 2018

Vital Inc.’s new Moto Mod measures five vital signs in a matter of two minutes

by John_A

Our phones are getting better and better at helping us keep track of our health, but they’re still not as capable as some might want or need. Vital Inc. is here to try and change that. How? With the launch of a fully featured health-tracking Moto Mod, which was just unveiled at CES 2018.

The Mod, which was built in partnership with Lenovo and Motorola, can work with any Moto Z smartphone. It connects to your device through Bluetooth, and once connected you’ll be able to use the Vital app to track heart rate, respiratory rate, Pulse Ox, core body temperature, and even blood pressure — which Vital Inc. claims is an accurate reading. According to the company, performing all five of those readings takes two to three minutes.

Of course, not everyone will even need to have those metrics read, but for those that do this device could be (literally) a life-saver. Sure, it adds some pretty serious extra bulk to your phone, but you won’t need to keep it connected to your phone all the time unless you’re using it, and it should fit nicely in a bag, if you have one.

The measurement of blood pressure has required a lot of development over the past few years. While there was once a time when measuring blood pressure required an arm band, Vital Inc. claims it can achieve an accurate measurement with a finger cuff, coupled with “advanced sensors” and an inflatable bladder.

Technology companies have slowly but surely been moving into health tracking. Apple arguably kicked off that trend with the original Apple Watch, which offered heart rate tracking, and with HealthKit, which gathers and analyzes health data. That data could be used for simply keeping a good record, or for detecting the presence of more dangerous diseases.

Android manufacturers haven’t really caught up to Apple’s HealthKit in terms of scope just yet, but the tracking of more data is certainly a step in the right direction. That’s not to say Android manufacturers don’t track data — plenty of Android Wear watches have heart rate monitoring and other health tracking. But Apple’s HealthKit is largely seen as revolutionary.

Lenovo first launched the Moto Mod ecosystem in 2015 with the release of the original Moto Z. At launch, there were only a handful of Mods — including an external battery Mod, a mobile projector Mod, and a JBL speaker Mod. Since then, we’ve seen the launch of a slew of extra mods — including an Amazon speaker with Alexa and a 360-degree camera.

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