5 reasons to choose Digital BP monitors vs wearablesJune 28, 2022 2022-07-20 10:09
5 reasons to choose Digital BP monitors vs wearables
Why is digital BP monitors better than wearables? How to take accurate readings using BP monitors?
Hypertension is the leading cause of premature death globally. The reason is simple; hypertension is a gateway disease. A gateway disease is medically defined as an ailment that leads to several fatal as well as chronic medical conditions. Hypertension leads to cardiovascular disease, strokes, cardiac arrests, and heart attacks. (1)
What is hypertension?
Blood pressure is measured by taking both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure is the highest reading. Diastolic blood pressure is the lower reading.
Systolic blood pressure is the force with which your heart is pumping blood through your body. In a relaxed state, diastolic blood pressure refers to the pressure of blood flowing back to the heart from the body.
Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure is measured in mmHg or millimeters of mercury.
Generally, systolic blood pressure in people below the age of 50 is 140/90mmHg or higher and 150/90mmHg or higher in people above 70.
Ideally, doctors consider 120-130 mmHg systolic and 60-80 mmHg diastolic blood pressure as the healthy range.
If your average systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings are in the 120/80mmHg and 140/90mmHg range then you are in the prehypertension range. If the blood pressure readings remain above 140/90 mmHg for 7 days, you are bound to get diagnosed with hypertension. (2)
What are the symptoms of hypertension?
Hypertension is a silent killer. The reason why this medical condition is categorized as a ‘silent killer’ is that the disease rarely entails telltale symptoms.
Still, you can look out for the following possible signs –
- Migraines (severe headaches)
- Blurred vision
- Chest pain
- Breathing difficulties
- Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
- Blood in urine
- Pounding in your ears. (3)
How to counter hypertension?
Other ways to manage hypertension are –
- Low consumption of salt.
- Low consumption of fast food and deep-fried food.
- Healthy Body Mass Index.
- Regular cardio-based exercises.
- Quitting tobacco products
- Quitting alcohol.
- Meditation or yoga to manage stress. (5)
Hypertension leads to AFib
Hypertension also leads to AFib.
AFib is the abbreviation for Atrial Fibrillation. It is a concerning medical condition where your heart beats either at irregular intervals or rapidly. In both cases, AFib can reduce the overall efficiency of your heart drastically. In simple words, if your heart has developed AFib, it won’t be able to deliver the necessary amount of oxygenated blood to every corner of your body which can lead to clot formation eventually causing a stroke.
AFib occurs when the upper chamber (atria) of your heart beats faster or slower than the lower chamber (ventricles) of your heart.
The scary part about AFib is that it entails no apparent clinical symptoms.
But, in the advanced stages, AFib can manifest clinical symptoms that may or may not be limited to –
- Shortness of breath and
- Fatigue. (6)
How to measure BP at home?
It is recommended that you measure your blood pressure at least twice per day when you are at home. Taking multiple measurements using automatic blood pressure monitors from Omron can offer the user accurate blood pressure readings. In this context, it is strongly advised that you consult with your doctor before taking home blood pressure readings. Your doctor will chalk out important points based on your unique medical history.
Why should you use Omron digital blood pressure monitors and not an android device?
Omron digital Home blood pressure monitors are user-friendly and clinically validated. These devices are portable and are equipped with essential features. On the other hand, android devices are complicated to use and they contain mercury – which is a health and environmental hazard.
Furthermore, digital blood pressure monitors for home use are recommended by experts at the AHA (American Heart Association). It is strongly advised that if you lead a stressful life or you are above the age of 70, you should use home blood pressure monitors periodically. Developing the habit of monitoring BP regularly is the best solution to manage hypertension.
Why is digital BP monitors better than wearable tech?
There are several fitness bands and smartwatches from leading brands available that can accurately measure BP. These devices use heart rate monitoring sensors that analyze pulse waves (8). Reputed brands like Omron offer wearable heart rate monitors that are clinically validated and are available in the US. This range of wearable heart rate monitors is yet to enter the Indian market.
The sensors of wearable BP monitors can measure systolic and diastolic blood pressure with 89% accuracy. (9)
On the other hand, home blood pressure monitors like Omron HEM 7156T are up to 95-98% accurate. Furthermore, digital blood pressure monitors can also detect irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia). This is an essential feature that can help you seek medical help as soon as possible.
Other reasons why digital blood pressure monitors are better than wearables are as follows –
- Digital BP monitors, apart from being more accurate than wearable heart rate and BP monitors, are also easy to use. These devices come with simple UIs and instructions. Thus making these devices easy to use.
- Digital BP monitors, unlike traditional sphygmomanometers, are portable. They rely on clinically accurate electronic components, a dedicated power supply, and automatic inflatable cuffs to measure BP. Furthermore, digital BP monitors are free from mercury. It is no news that this is an upside as mercury is a hazardous substance that can cause illnesses and can harm the environment. On top of this, unlike traditional sphygmomanometers, digital BP monitors can be taken on tours. That will allow you to keep tabs on your BP on the move.
- The memory capacity of digital BP monitors is more compared to wearable heart rate and BP monitors. The extended onboard memory allows digital BP monitors to keep detailed records of past BP measurements including timestamps!
- Compared to wearable BP and heart rate monitors, digital BP monitors are relatively cost-efficient.
How to take accurate readings using BP monitors at home?
You can make sure that you are getting accurate results from your digital home BP monitors when you follow the tips mentioned below –
- Sit still while measuring BP using an upper arm blood pressure monitor.
- Do not participate in any strenuous activity before the measurement.
- Wait for at least 30 minutes after smoking or after consuming caffeinated drinks.
- Wait for the heart to relax, especially after exercise.
- Urinate, have a glass of water, and remain calm as this will lead to accurate diastolic readings
- Sit straight and ensure your back is supported.
- Your arm should be at the heart level and should rest on a flat surface.
- Your feet should rest flat on the floor.
- The bottom of the BP monitor’s cuff should be above the bend of your elbow. Placing the cuff of the device on the upper arm is strongly advised.
- Don’t take BP measurements by placing the cuff of the device above your clothes.
- Take the measurement(s) at a fixed time, every day.
With regular measurements, hypertension can be managed. Regular monitoring of blood pressure can help you to prevent heart disease. To learn more, consult with your health care expert as soon as possible.