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Ianastasija Omoore
Ianastasija Omoore

Blood Pressure Monitor Buying Guide


The American Heart Association (AHA) and other organizations recommend that people with high blood pressure monitor their blood pressure at home. Regularly checking blood pressure at home helps your care providers determine if treatment is working.

Most pharmacies, medical supply stores and some websites sell home blood pressure monitors. Experts recommend an automatic or electronic device. Your health care provider can help you pick the monitor that's best for you.

Some people with very large arms may not have access to a well-fitting upper arm cuff at home. If so, measuring blood pressure at the wrist or lower arm may be OK if used as directed and checked against measurements taken in your provider's office. For the most reliable blood pressure measurement, the American Heart Association recommends using a monitor with a cuff that goes around your upper arm, when available.

No matter what type of home blood pressure monitor you choose, proper use requires training and practice. Take the device to your health care provider to make sure the one you've chosen is the best fit for you. Learn to use the monitor correctly.

Contact your health care provider if you have any unusual increases in your blood pressure or if your blood pressure stays higher than usual. Ask your provider at what reading you should call the medical office right away.

If you have an electronic personal health record, you might choose to record your information using a computer or mobile device. This gives you the option of sharing your readings with your health care providers and family members. Some blood pressure monitors upload this data automatically.

If your blood pressure is well controlled, ask your health care provider how often you need to check it. You might be able to check it only once a day or less often. If you're just starting home monitoring or changing treatment, your provider might recommend checking blood pressure starting two weeks after treatment changes and a week before your next appointment.

Home blood pressure monitoring is not a substitute for medical visits. Home blood pressure monitors might not always be correct. Even if you get readings that are typical for you, don't stop or change your medications or your diet without talking to your care provider first. However, if continued home monitoring shows your blood pressure is under control, you might be able to make fewer medical visits.

In this guide, we will look at the various factors to consider when buying a blood pressure monitor, the best blood pressure monitors for home use, the benefits of home blood pressure monitors, and the importance of accuracy in these devices.

A blood pressure monitor (or sphygmomanometer) is a device that measures blood pressure through the use of a cuff worn on the arm or wrist. Many people are familiar with blood pressure monitors that use an inflatable arm cuff that can be pumped with a rubber bulb (manual) or electronically (digital).

Digital blood pressure monitor cuffs can be inflated automatically and measure blood pressure through oscillometric detection, meaning the device uses small pressure changes during deflation or inflation to calculate both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

In recent years blood pressure technology has advanced significantly, with cuffless blood pressure monitors coming to the forefront for use on the wrist or finger. These cuffless technologies do not require inflation of a cuff to take a measurement and may use optical signals or other technologies to estimate blood pressure. Some of these take a spot check measurement at a single point in time. The Aktiia solution is the only currently available option on the market that can be worn on the wrist 24/7, and take your BP readings for you automatically on an hourly basis.

Brachial blood pressure monitors are the traditional form of BP monitor. The name comes from the cuff wrapping around your brachial artery on your upper arm. However, arm cuffs can become uncomfortable when inflated and require some level of manual action to use them.

Aktiia, however, offers more convenience and comfort and takes less effort. Once the bracelet is on, you can go about your day and not even notice it. Aktiia then calculates your blood pressure in the background up to every hour, offering you a much more detailed representation of your blood pressure.

At Aktiia, we believe our device fits all these criteria with 24/7 blood pressure monitoring that helps you and your physician understand your blood pressure pattern so that you and your medical team can make an accurate diagnosis, and if you have hypertension, Aktiia allows for effective and easy monitoring and treatments, to reduce your overall cardiovascular risk. Have further questions about choosing a blood pressure monitor or the Aktiia bracelet itself Visit our FAQ page or contact us with your inquiry.

Disclaimer: Disclaimer: If you are concerned about your blood pressure, it is best to speak to your doctor. They can advise on the best way to manage your blood pressure and whether using blood pressure Aktiia bracelet may be beneficial.

One in three Australian adults have high blood pressure (hypertension) and many more have low blood pressure (hypotension). If you're one of them, then you may find a home blood pressure monitor is an essential tool for measuring your blood pressure daily, which can help you keep track of any unexpected changes in your health and tell you if you need to visit your GP.

If you have hypertension, monitoring your blood pressure at home can help you keep it under control. Home monitoring can also help you identify hypertension in the first place, and it might be worth investing in a home blood pressure monitor if you think you're at risk, particularly if you have a family history of heart disease, or if you have other contributing factors.

A home blood pressure monitor can allow you to build a timeline so you can share results with your health professional. It can also help you fine-tune new treatments by seeing how they're working for you and what impact they're having on your body.

Another good reason for monitoring your blood pressure at home is that sometimes going to the doctor to get your blood pressure checked can be stressful enough to cause it to spike. This is called "white-coat hypertension", and it can be avoided by checking your blood pressure at home in comfortable surroundings.

The majority of blood pressure monitors are the upper-arm cuff type, but we're seeing an increase in wrist cuff models, which look a little bit like an overly chunky wrist watch. Despite not finding much difference in accuracy between upper arm and wrist cuff models when used exactly as directed, the medical community considers the wrist cuff models much less accurate so we don't recommend them.

Accuracy concerns aside, a wrist mount blood pressure monitor might be a better option for you if your arm is too big for a cuff or if you find blood pressure measurement at the upper arm uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, the purchase of home blood pressure monitors does not qualify for a Medicare rebate. Some private health insurers will cover them under an extras policy, but it varies from provider to provider. You should check your policy documents to see what, if anything, you can claim.

Home blood pressure monitors cost somewhere between $29 and $370. While there are plenty of more expensive monitors available, there's no real reason to pay more for home use and more expensive monitors may start to be targeted towards professional use.

While this sounds good, in practice they may actually be harder to use, as their cuffs may not be designed to be put on by yourself. The important thing is to find one which is accurate, and which you're comfortable using. See our blood pressure monitor reviews for more information.

The cuff has to be inflated to a level above the systolic blood pressure, but the automatic inflation setting might be a lot higher and it could be uncomfortable. Some models have an adjustable inflation level so you can program the pressure.

Some monitors can store several recent date and time stamped blood pressure measurements, which may be useful for you and your doctor for identifying trends and patterns. Some blood pressure monitors also have separate memory storage for two users. It's also worth noting that many app-based monitors will give you even better memory storage options, and may even integrate with other health-related apps (like Apple Health).

Your true blood pressure is clinically defined as "the average level over prolonged periods of time", so a monitor that can take a number of readings and average the results will give you a more accurate figure than just taking a single point, as blood pressure can vary up and down for any number of reasons, including the act of putting on the blood pressure cuff itself.

App-based blood pressure monitors generally give you more and better data logging capabilities than the traditional standalone models, including a longer history, data manipulation and graphing, and often the ability to communicate with other health-based apps for more holistic monitoring of your vital signs.

Apple Health is one of most popular apps in the iOS ecosystem, and if you've got an iPhone then there's a good chance you're already using it, as it's installed by default on every iPhone. Apple Health tracks all of your health information, such as vital signs, medications, and health conditions, and it can also interface with compatible devices to track your blood pressure.

That means that home monitoring is more useful for identifying changes over time than measuring an absolute value, and you should aim to always measure your blood pressure at the same time of day, and under the same conditions to get the most accurate result.

When you first get your blood pressure monitor, take it to your GP to get it checked against a sphygmomanometer or your GP's monitor so you know if it's accurate. If not, then you may need to consult your manual for how to adjust its readings for error. Also, ask your doctor to check your technique to make sure you're measuring your blood pressure correctly. Check out our 8-step guide to measuring your blood pressure. 59ce067264


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