February is American Heart Health month, which spotlights the major health problems that heart disease causes, and encourages Americans to focus on improving their cardiovascular health. The CDC estimates approximately 70 million Americans (29%) suffer from hypertension and a similar number have pre-hypertension (blood pressure that is above normal but not yet in the high blood pressure range.) For those suffering from hypertension and pre-hypertension, or at risk for it, regular blood pressure monitoring is important. Getting into the doctors office for frequent blood pressure checks often isn’t practical, so home blood pressure monitoring can be a better alternative. This month we tested out the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor , which is a device designed to make it easier to measure, record and share blood pressure (BP) readings at home.
I’m lucky enough that I don’t currently have any blood pressure issues, but I do have a family member who is in the pre-hypertensive range and needs to monitor his blood pressure regularly. We have had a blood pressure monitor at home for several years because of this, but it spends most of the time gathering dust as he finds it cumbersome to use and as a result he rarely uses it. During American Heart Health Month we have been both measuring our BP regularly using the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor.
I found the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor incredibly easy to set up and use. It is used in conjunction with the Withings Health Mate app on your iOS or Android Smartphone or tablet.Within the Health Mate App you can create multiple user accounts, so that you can view all your family’s data in one place. You can also log in to your Health Mate account from multiple devices.
The BP monitor charges via an included USB cable, and once charged it is totally wireless. The battery life is good, after taking approximately 30 readings my battery still has lots of life left.
To use it: just switch the monitor on by tapping a button, and it will ask to connect to your phone/ tablet via Bluetooth. Once you have connected it the first time it will connect automatically in future, if you have Bluetooth switched on.
Once the BP monitor connects via Bluetooth all the instructions appear on the screen step by step:
1. Rest 5 min, then wrap the arm band around your left arm with the metal tube against your inner arm, about 2cm above your elbow.
2. Stay still during the measurement, sit up straight in a chair, feet flat on the floor, don’t cross your legs.
3. Arm relaxed and resting at heart level e.g. on a table.
4. Press “Start” in the app. (Before doing this you can also switch profiles if you need to.)
Once you press start, the cuff automatically inflates and slowly deflates as it makes the measurement.
Once the measurement is complete the app displays your Systolic BP, Diastolic BP and heart rate. A color coded dot appears next to the BP reading to let you know at a glance if the readings are normal or not. You can set the monitor to take multiple readings automatically and you can also set a reminder so you get a daily notification to remind you to take your blood pressure at your preferred time.
From the Withings Healthmate app you can see your daily activity from all your Withings devices in one place- if you have a Withings Activite Pop your sleep and activity data will appear alongside your BP and Heart rate from the Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor. By tapping on the BP reading you can view a graph of your BP and heart rate readings over time. You can also view this data in table form.
If you are under medical care it is also important to be able to easily share your results with your doctor, this is very easy to do. When looking at your BP and Heart Rate data you can choose to share your data via email and can even set up for your readings to be emailed automatically once a day, week or month.
Obviously if you see abnormal readings it is a good idea to consult with your doctor. If want extra help interpreting your results Withings also offers Hy-Result an advanced advisory service as an in-app purchase for $4.99.
I was very impressed with how easy it is to take your Blood Pressure using the Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor. Applying the cuff is very simple and the whole system is built in to the cuff and its attached metal tube, there are no tubes, wires or additional accessories. You literally just switch on the monitor, put the cuff around your arm and follow the on screen instructions to make sure you are in a good position for measuring, and press start. It couldn’t be easier! It is so much simpler than the home Blood Pressure Monitor we used previously, that this one actually gets used instead of sitting gathering dust!
I love that you can set reminders to do your measurement, that you immediately know whether or not your reading is in the optimal range and that it automatically tracks your measurements over time. The ability to easily share results with your doctor is also a great feature. With the ability to add multiple family members within your Withings Health Mate account it also means you can use it to make sure family members are taking care of their heart health too. Whether it is checking on a parent who lives elsewhere, or a spouse when you are away from home, you can check that they are remembering to measure their BP and that it staying in their normal range, which is great for peace of mind.
If you or a loved one has pre-hypertension, hypertension, or risk factors for it, the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor is a great way to make home blood pressure monitoring quick, easy and painless.
The Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor is available from Withings.com, Amazon and other retailers RRP $129.95
NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.
Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).