Is the Withings Scanwatch the best hybrid watch when getting old?

Withings Scanwatch senior

With its classic hybrid that merges high-tech technology and analog watch face, the Scanwatch will appeal to anyone who wants to monitor its health, fitness without compromising for style. Despite being already a couple of years old, Withings has constantly improved the Scanwatch to offer a device that has everything: from ECG to SpO2, sleep tracking, and even snore detection. In addition, the battery lasts up to 30 days, making it one of the best. Considering all it has to offer, the Scanwatch is reasonably priced and a serious choice when shopping for a smart and beautiful watch.

SCANWATCH by Withings
  • ELECTROCARDIOGRAM* — The watch and heart rate monitor watch detects atrial fibrillation or normal...
  • SLEEP TRACKING — Sleep tracker delivers a Score based on light and deep sleep cycles, sleep...
  • HEART RATE TRACKING — Track heart rate continuously during workouts to optimize training, and...
  • WRIST-BASED OXIMETRY — Provides on demand oxygen saturation level (SpO2) in just 30 seconds
  • WATERPROOF watch - waterproof watch for swimming. Water resistance up to 50m.

Smartwatches have been around for longer than you might think, with the first versions developed in the 1970s. But with the rise of the internet and innovative health measurements, the usefulness of smartwatches, and therefore their popularity, has skyrocketed. And there are so many options to choose from. 

While some people love the style of smartwatches that almost look like a smartphone that you wear on your wrist (e.g., Apple watch), other people prefer a smartwatch that looks more like a regular analog watch. 

These are known as hybrid watches because they give you the best of both worlds. The Withings Scanwatch is one of the genuinely stylish hybrid watches, and it also has lots of features that can be useful for older people.

Withings Scanwatch: A stylish and smart hybrid watch

The Withings Scanwatch hits the perfect note for mixing style and substance. It is made of premium quality materials and has a timeless and classic look that will appeal to anyone who wants a stylish timepiece to wear on their wrist. It is made of 316L stainless steel with a sapphire glass display and a wide range of color options. None of them are garish, which gives the same look as a good quality analog watch.

If you are buying for an older person, or you are someone who doesn’t want to wear the usual utilitarian smartwatch style, the Withings Scanwatch won’t look obvious or out of place with any outfit. Most people likely won’t realize that it isn’t an analog watch unless they see the display light up. And you can get a range of watch bands to mix and match and update the style whenever you feel like it.

Even though it has the classic look of a good quality analog watch, don’t be fooled into thinking that it lacks smart functionality. It has some of the best health features available today and can serve as the perfect smartwatch to aid in protecting your health as you get older. It can also help you meet your fitness goals, and it does link with your smartphone so you can use the associated app, from which you can share your health information directly with your doctor. 

A health smartwatch for an aging population

Withings have been making hybrid watches with a range of health features for several years, but the Scanwatch does take it to the next level. Of particular note is its ability to monitor your heart health and your risk of sleep apnea. Of course, if you are worried about these things, the first thing you need to do is get in touch with your doctor, but the Scanwatch can help you feel in control, and you can even use it to share important health information with your healthcare provider.


The main feature that has been added to the Scanwatch compared to the previous Withings hybrid watch iterations, such as the Steel HR, is the EKG function. This newly FDA-approved feature allows you to take an EKG on demand. You do this by creating two contact points between the watch and your body: your wrist and a finger that you place on the bevel. The scan takes only 30 seconds, and you immediately get a PDF of the results sent to your phone that can be shared with your healthcare provider directly from the Healthmate app.


You can also check your blood oxygen levels on demand using the same technique of creating two contact points with the watch, and these results can also be shared with your healthcare provider. In addition, information about your blood oxygen levels can provide you with helpful information about the state of your health.

AFib detection via PPG

Another essential health feature on the Withings Scanwatch is detecting irregular heartbeats as they happen. It uses the PPG technique to continuously monitor the blood volume changes in the veins in your wrist. If it detects an irregular heartbeat, it will immediately send you a notification, and it will also suggest that you use the EKG reading as soon as possible.

Sleep apnea detection

One of the most critical developments that Withings have made with the Scanwatch is that it allows you to detect incidents of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is known as a “silent killer” because it is challenging to know yourself if you are experiencing it, and most smartwatches have no way of detecting sleep apnea incidents.

The Withings Scanwatch, however, can detect sleep apnea. It uses the oximeter that detects blood oxygen levels to track breathing disturbances as you sleep (Withings call it the “respiratory scan”). Then, when you wake up, you will receive a report that you can send to your doctor. The Withings Scanwatch is the only smartwatch with FDA approval for sleep apnea detection.


Of course, older people aren’t just concerned with potential health problems. Many older people are as much, if not more so, interested in maintaining their activity and fitness levels. And the Withings Scanwatch can help with just that. It has a GPS that can track your walking, running, or cycling. And it also has a pedometer to measure how many steps you take a day.

It will automatically track your heart rate for any exercise you take part in, telling you how many calories you burned. You can see all your activity and fitness stats in the Healthmate app. 

You can also link the app to other apps, such as calorie trackers, and if you buy the Withings Smart Scale, all of your body data will also be sent to the Healthmate app. This can help to give you a comprehensive picture of how your body is doing, which you can use to stay fitter and healthier for longer. 

Sleep health

Good sleep can have a significant impact on your health and wellbeing. The Withings Scanwatch will measure the duration and quality of your sleep each night and the sleep apnea detection, and you will be able to see your results in your sleep health report. It does this by measuring your heart rate, amount of movement, and your breathing rate. 

Battery life

One of the features that sets the Withings Scanwatch apart from other smartwatches is how long the battery life is. With many smartwatches, you have to remember to charge them every night, and even the ones that boast about how good their battery life will generally need charging at least once a week. The Withings Scanwatch, on the other hand, has a battery life of 30 days, and it charges very quickly once it is put on charge.

What is missing?

These features are great for older people, but some elements are missing from the Withings Scanwatch but are present in other smartwatch options. They aren’t features that will be relevant for every older person but for some, they could well be dealbreakers. 

Fall detection

Many smartwatches will automatically detect if the person wearing them has had a fall and will either automatically get in touch with your emergency contacts or the emergency services. Unfortunately, the Withings Scanwatch doesn’t have this feature, which is unfortunate because it can give some people real peace of mind. 

Call for help

Other smartwatches will also call for help from your emergency contacts or the emergency services if they detect any other serious health issue. But, again, the Withings Scanwatch doesn’t have that option. And there is also no way for you to manually use the watch to call for help if you find yourself in a worrying situation. 


One of the downsides of how the display on the Withings Scanwatch works is that it can be quite hard to see. It isn’t really backlit, and there is no way of increasing the brightness, so, even for people without problems with their eyesight, it can be almost impossible to see in bright sunlight.

Once you factor in eyesight problems, the display can be tough to see, even in the best of environments. So, for older people dealing with changes to their eyesight, this issue can make the watch almost unusable at times. 

Withings Scanwatch Pros and Cons


  • A classic, premium style which makes it look like a good quality analog watch
  • 30-day battery life
  • EKG readings
  • Reasonable price
  • Blood oxygen level readings
  • Automatic AFib detection
  • Automatic sleep apnea detection
  • Ability to share health information directly with your doctor
  • Comfortable to wear


  • No fall detection
  • No call for help function if there is a health crisis
  • The watch display can be very difficult to read

To wrap up

The Withings Scanwatch is one of the better smartwatches on the market for older people, especially older people who are concerned about health issues such as AFib or sleep apnea. It is the only smartwatch currently on the market with FDA approval for sleep apnea detection, and any health readings you take can be shared directly with your doctor. It is also in a style that doesn’t look like a smartwatch. Instead, it looks like a good-quality analog watch.

It doesn’t have some of the features that older people may value, such as fall detection, and the display isn’t as accessible as other options on the market. But for many older people, this hybrid watch strikes the perfect balance between functionality and style. 

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