The ability to get accurate readings from any connected tracker is critical, especially so for one of your vital statistics. If you have ever gotten your blood pressure taken in a “traditional fashion”, with a health professional quietly listening to stethoscope of your arm while watching a dial on a manual arm pump drop, you’ll know there is a better way. There are some good reasons to track your blood pressure, and doing so with an automated blood pressure cuff is a good option. This is where the Withings BPM Connect comes in.
Devices which can standardize taking a blood pressure reading means that you do not need another person to take a reading. Considering that many people suffer from “White Coat Syndrome“, which is where blood pressure rises just because you are at or around a Doctor, this can fundamentally change this statistic. What’s more it means that you can get a reading day to day and really see how things change day to day.
Taking a Smart Blood Pressure Reading with Withings BPM Connect
The Whitings Blood pressure cuff is smart enough to take a reading without a human having to read the results, and is connected to your smart phone and the cloud so it can report back the findings automatically to the Health Mate App. All of this can be easily tied to the Apple health kit or to Google fit which makes it easy to monitor even offline measurements. Overall the trustworthiness of the device and service is supported since the Withings BPM cuff is registered with the FDA and passed clearance all the way back in 2014. So yes, the Withings BPM Connect is FDA approved and carries the CE mark for EU Declaration of conformity. All the relevant documents are tracked on Withings site.
With the Withings cuff, taking a reading is as easy as slipping the cuff over your arm. Once that is done you simply attach the velcro and hit the button. Then you wait. The cuff will pump itself up and then deflate slightly over the course of 30-40 seconds. You can setup the device to take either a single reading, or to average across three readings. If you choose 3 readings the cuff will countdown the interval until the next reading (which can also be set from 30 seconds- 2 minutes).
It is important to take the reading in the correct position and environment. Just like having White Coat Syndrome can send your blood pressure up momentarily, other factors can influence a reading. Standing, having just done a workout, being in a very cold or hot area, talking, having your legs crossed, all of these can effect your blood pressure. This is one of the reasons why averaging 3 readings seems to be the preferred. Still if you want to integrate taking your blood pressure into a routine, but don’t want to wait around for 5 minutes to do so, you can choose a single reading. No matter the choice, the device will display the readings on the LCD screen when finished.
In the dashboard section of the app, the trends of blood pressure are reported. It takes a few minutes after a reading for the app to sync new readings from the cloud. Once there though you can see the trend. This again makes it simple to record, and also provides great displays that can help visualize trends. You can also manually add a reading if you take one at the doctor or have some other device to integrate.
Is the Withing BPM Connect Accurate?
All at home trackers suffer form the question if they are accurate or not, but in that regards the Withings BPM Connect cuff appears to be accurate to other readings. The struggle here is that so many minor things can quickly affect your BPM. Even standing up or cross your legs during the reading will shift it a bit. Still, when comparing to readings taken in a doctor’s office the Withings results have never been widely mis-aligned with any reading. Notably the specific ranges, normal, raised, severely elevated were all the same with an at home test as they were at a doctor.
If you are not a fan of the Withings App, or even if you are, you can also share the information back out to other apps including the Apple Health Kit. Doing this lets you share the reading directly with Doctors, assuming you grant them access to your data. Thankfully though Withings Health Mate app is pretty good at displaying multiple data points. That means even if you only have the BPM Connect, you can still set the Health Mate app to read form others so that you can get a dashboard of other information. In this way the accuracy of the connected cuff is less important or at least the need to be super precise is lessened.
Can Health Mate App Have Multiple Users for BPM?
The short answer is yes, you can load multiple users into the health mate app. This allows you to track data for each individual separately from any of their devices. The same is true with the Body+ scale, which can write to multiple profiles or people in a household. The user interface of the app simplifies how to interpret the data. There are green/yellow/red colors for different readings based on where they fall in the standard range vs. ones that are bad enough to share with your doctor.
With a variety of metrics worth displaying, the dashboard of metrics makes it so there is more than one reason to check the Health Mate app. If you are tracking other statics too though Withings also provides sensors for Weight (via the Body+ scale), sleep, temperature, steps, and heart rate.