Blood pressure monitors are excellent medical tools to monitor blood pressure (BP) at home and avoid health complications. As a result, many at-home patients invest in these medical devices to keep a tab on this crucial health parameter. High blood pressure (hypertension) is often called "the silent killer" because its symptoms are so subtle that people with the illness may not realize they need medical help. Maintaining checks on your blood pressure; therefore, investing in a wrist blood pressure monitor for home use is a great idea. In addition, one can better manage their health over the long term if one takes their blood pressure measurements regularly and monitor any fluctuations.
Those who have hypertension or diabetes are encouraged to keep track of their blood pressure at home by the American Heart Association (AHA) and others. Home blood pressure monitoring lets doctors know if their treatment has the desired effect.
Although purchasing home blood pressure monitors do not require a doctor's prescription, it is crucial to find reliable non-invasive blood pressure (NIBP) monitors and the proper usage. However, a quick search online will uncover hundreds of various models and many apps for your mobile device. Purchasing a reliable NIBP monitor can be challenging when faced with so much information.
Naturally, those planning to purchase a new device with an arm cuff blood pressure monitor would have questions about its efficacy, accuracy, and functioning. So let's start with accuracy.
How accurate are home blood pressure monitors?
A blood pressure monitor's most crucial feature is its capacity to reliably and precisely record data. When researching a monitor's accuracy, you should keep an eye out for the following characteristics:
- Clinically Tested: Validation is the gold standard for determining whether or not a blood pressure device meets the criteria for providing an accurate reading. The American Heart Association (AHA) advises consumers to invest in medical technology that has undergone clinical trials and has been approved by independent medical organizations like AAMI and others.
- FDA Cleared: The FDA regulates and sets criteria for different medical devices, including BP monitors and cuffs. For example, a blood pressure monitor device this has a valid FDA 510k indicates the device meets the standard and efficacy guidelines set forth by the FDA.
Helpful Tips for Accurate Blood Pressure Monitoring at Home
A learning curve is involved in correctly using any Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor. Consult your doctor to ensure your selected device is appropriate for your needs.
- Compare Readings at Home and Clinic: A patient should always double-check their home monitor's readings with those taken at the doctor's office before using the device. Get your provider to observe your use of the equipment to be sure you're following the instructions. If you've dropped your tool or otherwise damaged it, get it checked out before continuing to use it.
- Measure Twice: The best time to take it is first thing in the morning before anything else, including food or medication. Then in the evening. Always carry at least three readings when measuring anything to ensure consistency in your results. Measure your blood pressure regularly as advised by your doctor.
- Sit Comfortably: Ensure that you're comfortable before applying the Blood Pressure Monitor's Arm Cuff to your upper arm. Hold onto a chair for support during the process. It's essential to have a level head and avoid worrying thoughts. When having your blood pressure taken, please remain quiet.
The average person's blood pressure varies throughout the day. The morning readings tend to be slightly higher than the overnight ones. And your BP may be lower at home than at the doctor's office.
If your blood pressure suddenly rises or remains high for an extended period, you should consult your doctor. But, first, determine from your doctor at what level immediate medical attention is warranted.
How do home blood pressure monitors work?
The scientific name of a BP monitor is a tongue-twister, sphygmomanometer. Initially, physicians used to employ a manually inflated air-bladder cuff and a stethoscope for blood pressure readings, known as the auscultatory method. However, this technique was limited to medical professionals because of the learning curve.
Recent developments in medical technology have allowed for the development of low-cost, simple-to-operate digital BP monitors that can be used by anyone in the privacy of their own home and require no prior experience or training. Digital blood pressure monitors assess arterial blood pressure by inflating a cuff with the help of a battery-operated air pump and a pressure sensor that can detect minute vibrations in the arterial wall. The term "oscillometric" describes this technique.
There are two primary digital blood pressure monitors: upper arm blood pressure monitor and wrist blood pressure monitor.
- Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor: Upper-arm models use a cuff worn on the upper arm and linked through a tube to a digital monitor stationed nearby. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends upper-arm blood pressure monitors for home. Many state-of-the-art home monitors include an intelligent pressure mechanism that inflates and deflates the cuff to the ideal pressure at proper intervals.
- Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor: The wrist version is compact and secures around the user's wrist. A blood pressure reading mechanism is a standard across all brands of blood pressure monitors. Although most practitioners recommend Arm-Cuff Blood Pressure Monitors, Wrist- and Finger-Based Blood Pressure Monitors can be helpful in some circumstances. For example, some people may be unable to use arm-mounted monitors because of physical limitations or because their arms are too big for the provided cuffs.
How do modern Digital BP Monitors work?
A digital blood pressure monitor is a device that measures your blood pressure by inflating a cuff around your arm or wrist and then gradually releasing the air from the cuff. It also has an in-built sensor to detect irregular heartbeat and stores up to 60 or more readings.
Typically, digital BP monitors employ a 100-segment monochrome LCD powered by a driver embedded inside the microcontroller. They feature an LED screen to showcase readings and usually have a start/stop button for easy application. In addition, some advanced blood pressure monitors may feature color LCD touchscreens with interactive features, such as programmable time and date.
What are the best home blood pressure monitors?
Before exploring options, consider writing the features required from the home blood pressure monitor. For example, do you need a device for multiple users, support for transferring data, and so on? In addition, cardiac conditions like tachycardia, bradycardia, or afib may benefit from a device with an in-built arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) detector. Other considerations include the type of display, battery requirements, measuring range, calibration, type of cuff (wrist or arm), and internal memory.
As blood pressure monitoring is also helpful for diabetic patients, many people keep these devices as part of their diabetes management supply. Diabetes management and supplies can consist of blood sugar meters, diabetic tests strip, insulin pumps, and NIBP monitors. A BP device can help detect early symptoms of hypertension, cardiovascular problems, kidney diseases, and diabetes. So it is essential to invest in a high-quality arm-cuff blood pressure monitor or wrist blood pressure monitor for home use.
Here are some of the Best Budget Blood Pressure Monitors for Home Use
- Omron Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor: If you're looking for a simple, easy-to-use, and affordable blood pressure monitor, Omron's Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor is a perfect choice. This device is designed with simplicity in mind and is an excellent alternative for those who don't need all the features of pricier models.
- AHS Digital Blood Pressure Monitor with Upper Arm Cuff: You don't have to go to the doctor to check your blood pressure when you can do it at home with the AHS digital upper-arm BP monitor. This product is a convenient, easy-to-use, and affordable way to monitor your blood pressure regularly. With the AHS digital upper arm cuff, you can store up to 90 readings for two users and get an accurate blood pressure trend over time.
- AHS Digital Blood Pressure Monitor with Wrist Cuff: The AHS wrist cuff BP monitor is a must-have for anyone who wants to keep their blood pressure under control. With its intelligent pressure system, the cuff automatically inflates and deflates to the proper pressure at the appropriate intervals. The high-pressure warning notifies you when readings are outside of typical ranges. In addition, the arrhythmia detection and intuitive LCD ensure easy monitoring.
What types of monitors might a professionial use to monitor your blood pressure?
Omron IntelliSense Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor: Omron IntelliSense is a high-end blood pressure monitor that automatically inflates and deflates the cuff. It's perfect for people with diabetes, arthritis, or other conditions that prevent them from inflating the cuff themselves. It comes with small, medium, large, and extra-large cuffs, giving you a wider range of possible arm circumferences to fit.
Visit AHS to Find Affordable Blood Pressure Monitors and Medical Supplies
It's time to get a grip on blood pressure. AHS has the best blood pressure monitors and accessories for your hospital, clinic, or home. You'll never have to worry about finding the right cuff or cable again because we have a complete assortment of the best NIBP monitors and invasive blood pressure accessories (IBP) to suit all your needs.
This blog is intended solely for educational purposes. Any information to related to medical supplies and personal healthcare should be viewed general information and not as professional medical advice. American Hospital Supply recommends consulting your doctor regarding any medical treatments or therapies referenced. American Hospital Supply does not make representations or warranties regarding the information relating to products or healthcare decisions referenced within this blog.