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.
No doubt those professional are well trained, but even the best of them are prone to becoming lax when listening for the subtle change in beat they hear or noting the comically imprecise readings on that dial.
Devices which take the reading without the interpretation just feel better, and there is likely data to back that up. It also means that you do not need another person to take a reading. Considering that many people suffer from “White Coat Syndrome“, which is a real thing where blood pressure rises just because you are at or around a Doctor, this can fundamentally change this statistic.
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.
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.
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.
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.