Consumer health care is poised to become much more integrated with our day-to-day lives thanks to the recent advances in mobile apps, devices and wearable tech. Home blood pressure monitors have been quite a breakthrough where consumer health technology is concerned, offering people the freedom of checking hypertension in the comfort of their homes. Here are some of the best home blood pressure monitors in the market and information on how they stack up against one another.
Omron is one of the most prolific home blood pressure monitor brands in the market today. This is one of the first names that most doctors recommend to those patients who are considering buying their own BP monitor. Omron may have a bulky design, but it is a reliable device that does everything it claims to.
The BP786 monitor is the latest device to be launched by the company. It retails at $80 and can be hooked up to a mobile device or a computer. There are apps available that allow the monitor to interact with the devices, but many users have reported certain problems with the Android app.
The best part of this device is that it can be used independently of any computerized gadget, which makes it particularly popular with older customers who aren't tech-savvy. It has a simply and user-friendly interface. To take a reading, one has to attach the cuff to one's upper arm and hit the blue button. The machine displays your blood pressure, some stats on your pulse and also identifies irregular heartbeats. Up to 100 readings per person can be stored in the device.
Microlife WatchBP home A
It can be said that Microlife is one of the most critically acclaimed consumer BP monitor brands today. The Microlife WatchBP home A may not be the sleekest looking machine on the market, but is a handy device to monitor the health of those patients suffering from atrial fibrillation. This is a standalone device, much like the Omron. The WatchBP does not supper mobile devices, but has its own software that allows users to analyze their readings on a computer. The software is presented to users old-school style, on a 3" CD-ROM.
As compared to other home monitors that offer general blood pressure monitoring, the WatchBP home has been marketed specifically as a device which is to be used along with the monitoring of a physician to detect atrial fibrillation.
There are two modes on the device - Usual and Diagnostic. The Usual mode is used for more ad hoc readings as and when the user needs, while the Diagnostic mode is meant to be used under instruction from a physician.
The only place that this device seems to fall short when compared to the Omron, is the arm cuff, which is difficult to self-apply.
QardioArm Blood Pressure Monitor
The QardioArm Blood Pressure Monitor has a minimalistic, sophisticated, and elegant design and is totally wearable. It can be called 'a true blood pressure monitor for the iPhone age'. The QardioArm is only compatible with iOS and cannot be used as a standalone device, unlike the Omron and Microlife devices. This means that users who don't have an iPad or an iPhone cannot use this device.
Apple owner must first download the Qardio app from the getqardio.com website or from the App store before they are able to use the monitor. There are many great customer reviews, but a glowing error that is hard to miss is that app is sometimes not available on the App Store and the link to the Qardio app on the company's own website did not work. The QardioArm retails at $99 and has been developed through an Indiegogo crowdfunding drive.
iHealth Wireless Blood Pressure Monitors
The iHealth BP monitors, like the QardioArm, are being targeted towards Apple users. This device offers no Android support and requires an Apple device and app to function. The iHealth "MyVitals" app can be found on the Apple store and is easily installed.
With most wrist BP monitors, the readings tend to be less accurate and higher than those that are taken at the arm. This is due to the fact that arteries at the wrist are not do deep and are narrower. Since wrist-mounted BP monitors are much more sensitive to the position of one's body, the user has to position their wrist and arm at heart level to get an accurate reading. But even then, readings tend to be inaccurate.
Usually people who go into for a wrist BP monitor only do so if they have problems taking blood pressure measurements from their upper arm. This could be if they find BP measurements painful or have a very large arm.
This device has an inbuilt sensor which the app uses to guide the user into angling their arm into the correct position. It is user-friendly, stylish and well-designed. The MyVitals app allows users to track not only their blood pressure, but also their weight, sleep data, calorie trends, food intake, physical activity and more. This app therefore allows users to manage just about all aspects of their general health.