You can expect blood pressure monitors to get better and better as time goes on. The amount of information out there about being healthy is pretty free-flowing and a lot of people are taking action. These devices used to be pretty manual in nature, potentially leading to inaccurate readings, but not any longer. Here are some characteristics of today’s blood pressure monitors that you should know about.
Today’s Blood Pressure Monitors
1) They Aren’t That Expensive
If you do your research, you can find a solid monitor anywhere between $40 – $80. The price differences fluctuate depending on what kind of features you want to take advantage of. Most of the monitors can be pretty accurate with their core function of taking your blood pressure at any point in time. However, some come with extra features to help increase accuracy. Some examples are averaging your readings and checking to see if the cuff is on your arm right.
2) They’re Engineered To Meet AHA Guidelines
You better believe that it’s really important to people that these devices meet regulatory standards. The AHA (American Heart Association) will re-evaluate and adjust their guidelines as more and more research is done. Companies that make blood pressure monitors, such as Omron, will release a new set of monitors (from time to time) to ensure that they meet these guidelines. I recently found a report that many clinics are having trouble keeping up with these guidelines. This may be because of the extra costs to keep up with these regulations such as staff training and upgrading their equipment.
3) You Don’t Have To Figure Out Much
Most of these devices are a one-touch operation. Like I mentioned in my first point, a lot of these monitors can come with extra features to make sure you get an accurate reading. You need the proper inflation levels, minimal arm movement, and proper positioning of the cuff on your arm to get an accurate read. If it’s available, your monitor will alert you if any of these things are off.
4) Most Can Store Your Data/Readings
They can usually store a certain amount of readings for you. You’ll usually pay a little bit more if you need it store more readings. I’ve seen devices that can be as low as 60 readings and some as high as 200. If you have another person, such as a spouse, using the monitor with you, you can sometimes separate these readings so they don’t mix with each other. You’ll want to check if it has this kind of two-user feature. Check out my 6th point for more info.
5) Upper Arm Monitors Tend To Be More Accurate Than Wrist Monitors
Wrist monitors can be difficult to get accurate readings because they are extremely sensitive to body movement or incorrect positioning of the monitor. An upper arm monitor isn’t as vulnerable, so you can eliminate some of the hassle. However, wrist monitors are becoming more and more accurate. If you get one, you’ll want a wrist monitor that can provide you some indicators that you’re not positioned correctly. Why would people want a wrist monitor over an upper arm one? Well, they’re pretty portable and a lot smaller. That’s a huge selling point for a lot of people.
6) More Integration To Online Services Coming
Another good thing to note is that these devices are hopping on the “cloud” wagon. Many people are wanting to store their information online so they can access it anytime they want. This is also pretty useful if you want to send some of your data to your doctor before you visit. You can expect this to become more and more of a practice.