Blood Pressure is an important parameter that tells us how healthy we are. Various chronic blood pressure-related ailments are lurking in the world. This scenario compels us to take care of our hearts and maintain healthy blood pressure for a prosperous life.
In the light of maintaining good heart health, blood pressure machines can be helpful in telling us about the health of our heart function in a quantitative way. They measure the heart pump pressure called systolic and diastolic pressure and let us know if it is in a normal range or not.
Classical Blood pressure devices like sphygmomanometers are not easy to operate, requiring medical personnel to perform the measurement. Thus, wearable blood pressure monitors are becoming a thing as they can measure blood pressure automatically without any manual expertise and present our results in the simplest form possible.
These wearables are continuously being developed into accurate forms, and the FDA has recognized them as medical devices. This post explores some of these high-tech gadgets that can be worn on our wrists and can track our blood pressure 24/7. These devices do much more than just blood pressure tracking, our sole focus is only on this feature.
Omron HeartGuide – The most accurate wearable blood pressure monitor
Omron HeartGuide is designed to perform optimally and fit your lifestyle. It is a clinically accurate and wearable blood pressure measuring device that will track your heart data. It will also assess how your activities and behaviors impact the health of your heart.
Features of Omron HeartGuide
- With Omron HeartGuide, place it over your heart to record clinically precise blood pressure within 30 seconds.
- This high-tech watch is capable of drawing correlations between your activities, behaviors, and your heart health by tracking steps, calories burnt, and distance covered
- Omron HeartGuide uses the old and medically validated Oscillometric method to measure your blood pressure.
- There is a cuff present that will get inflated around the radial artery present in your wrist. This is also the doctor’s way of measuring blood pressure.
- It can also assess your sleep by observing sleep patterns, the quality of sleep, period of sleep time, and target sleep period
- With OMRON Connect, you will learn how your lifestyle affects your heart health and increase your awareness of your heart health
- It will also facilitate a dedicated connection with your doctor, and you will be able to access real-time heart health coaching
- You can track trends and history of your heart health with color-coded health graphs
- Effortless access to an interactive dashboard with your health history, reminders, and configurations. You can compare your stats with the current American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology Guidelines.
- Omron HeartGuide is registered with FDA as a true medical device.
SPECIFICATIONS FOR OMRON HeartGuide
Battery Life – 2 days depending on usage
Weight – 115 g
Compatibility – iOS and Android devices
Pros of Omron HeartGuide
- Quick and accurate blood pressure reading
- Bunch of other features present on a smartwatch
- The display is large and easy to read
- Extended warranty available
- Bluetooth technology for wireless data syncing
Consof Omron HeartGuide
- Omron HeartGuide is not waterproof
- Pathetic battery life
- Bulky for some users
- Only available in the USA
FITVII Smartwatch – Value for Money and Lightweight
Fitvii Smartwatch can be an excellent alternative for users on a tight budget but still want a wearable blood pressure monitor. This affordable device has been basking in the light of good reviews and user experience. It is loaded with all the features offered by a premium smartwatch and is compatible with both Android (4.4 and later) and iOS (9.0 and later) with Bluetooth support for version 5.0 and above.
Features of FITVII Smartwatch
- FITVII can monitor heart rate and blood pressure 24/7 and record detailed data on the smartwatch. It can later transfer them to the app on the phone wirelessly via Bluetooth.
- It can also track skin temperature and perform in-depth sleep analysis, tracking steps, calorie counts, and workouts for 20 different sports modes.
- There are accessory features present like a sedentary reminder, all clock features (stopwatch, timer, alarm), and 10-level brightness for your comfort
- Fitvii smartwatch also comes with intelligent vibration notifications for calls, messages, or viewing an app from your phone.
- The watch face is fully customizable, and it allows you to control the camera on your phone using the smartwatch. You can rotate your wrist and take a picture.
- The watch comes with a music control feature and IP68 certification, making it water-resistant in shallow water and on rainy outings. The screen is large, with a high definition of 1.54 inches
- Ten days of battery life with continuous usage and 30 days of life on standby.
SPECIFICATIONS FOR FITVII SMARTWATCH
Colors Available – Black
Language Support – 19 Languages
Battery life – 10 days with continuous usage (rated)
Pros of FITVII Smartwatch
- Great features like heart health and blood pressure tracking
- Decent battery life
- TPU Strap and anti-scratch screen to resist wearing and tearing
Cons of FITVII Smartwatch
- The accuracy of blood pressure is not clinical, so it cannot be used for medical purposes
- The design is generic
- No warranty available for the Fitvii smartwatch
Aktiia 24/7 Blood Pressuring Monitoring Bracelet
Aktiia 24/7 Blood Pressure Monitoring is different from the smartwatches that claim to measure your blood pressure around the clock. It has a single purpose: to measure your blood pressure in the most accurate way with clinical-level precision. It is conceptualized and designed to provide you with a clear and simple breakdown of your blood pressure readings so that you can get all the motivation to approach a proactive lifestyle.
Features of Aktiia
- The Aktiia Blood Pressure Monitoring wearable uses a noninvasive (without introducing instruments into the body parts) technique to monitor the user’s Blood Pressure.
- It is a cuffless wristband that uses Photo-plethysmographic (PPG) signals on your wrist to record systolic BP and diastolic BP values via the deployment of a pulse wave analysis technique
- You have to use the Aktiia app to calibrate the bracelet with the cuff included in the box once a month for an accurate and detailed assessment of your blood pressure.
- It feels like nothing on the wrist but measures the Blood Pressure in the background every hour.
- You can easily sync and transfer all the data from the Aktiia measured over days, weeks, and months seamlessly to the Aktiia app on your phone
- You can also generate detailed insights about your Blood pressure in a pdf format and show it to your doctor for better diagnosis and treatment
- It has obtained CE certification and is awaiting FDA approval
- The Aktiia app is another plus point. The dashboard is intuitive and detailed, with color-coded graphs showing your blood pressure variation throughout the day and night.
SPECIFICATIONS FOR AKTIIA BLOOD PRESSURE BRACELET
Battery Life – 9 days (rated)
Compatible – iOS and Android phones
Warranty – 2 years with free shipping
Weight – 20g
Pros Features of Aktiia
- Clinical accuracy and dedicated function
- Calibration can be performed from time to time
- Comes with Bluetooth Low Energy Smart (BLE) for wireless technology
- Swiss technology and GDPR compliant
- The app has been designed with lots of thought and details
Cons Features of Aktiia
- Aktiia blood pressure bracelet is not waterproof
- It doesn’t work with a smartwatch or tablet
- Limited accessibility (Only in Europe right now)
H2-BP by Charmcare
Charmcare is a South Korean company founded in 2004 that focuses on developing medical equipment. H2-BP is one of the benchmark products that has put them on the global map of dependable wearable device manufacturers. H2BP is small, light, fast, and has convincing accuracy when it comes to Blood Pressure Monitoring.
Features of H2-BP by Charmcare
- Charmcare’s H2-BP uses the oscillometric method to measure blood pressure. This is the measurement principle used by most automatic digital Blood Pressure monitors with a cuff.
- The oscillogram, which is simply the approximate blood volume oscillation amplitude-external pressure function, is measured, and Blood Pressure is estimated via an empirical algorithm
- The measurement range with the H2-BP monitoring band is 30 to 260 mm of Hg with an accuracy of +/- 5 mm of Hg. It only takes around 30 seconds to register the blood pressure reading
- H2-BP is simple in design with a single goal of measuring your Blood pressure. You can use it all the time without anyone noticing it. It looks like a generic fitness band on your wrist.
- This device has been approved as a medical device by KFDA and FDA.So, you can rely on the measurements to devise a medical plan or decide.
- The readings from the wristband can be sent using Bluetooth 4.0 to the app wirelessly on the phone, which records it in various metric forms. Remotely authorized users can also access the stored readings
- It comes with an OLED screen for better visibility and legibility, and it can store up to 200 readings in the onboard memory.
- The 3V lithium-ion battery takes 1.5 hours to charge fully and can last up to 3 days, depending on the measurements’ frequency.
Specifications for Charmcare’s H2-BP wristband
Weight – 44 grams
Battery life – 3 days
Compatibility – iOS and Android devices
Country of Origin – South Korea
Pros H2-BP by Charmcare
- OLED screen for better screen resolution
- Accurate Blood Pressure measurement
- FDA approval
- Minimalist and lightweight
- Interactive app to go with
- Available in over 40 countries
Cons of H2-BP by Charmcare
- Price can be an issue
- No waterproofing
- Limited features for such a high price
Biobeat Wrist Monitor
Biobeat is an Israeli company that has perfected medical technologies using intelligent techniques and has made them affordable. Biobeat Wrist monitor is one of many techs that measures vital signs like Blood Pressure in real-time wirelessly via medical-grade technology that is entirely noninvasive. This makes the Biobeat wrist monitor an ideal device for nursing homes and home care for Blood Pressure monitoring.
Features of Biobeat Wrist Monitor
- Biobeat wrist monitor uses Biobeat’s cutting edge Photo-plethysmographic (PPG) sensor, which is designed to permit a straightforward reading of the PPG signal wave. This enables measurement of a wide range of vital stats apart from Blood Pressure
- Biobeat wrist monitor can measure parameters like Respiratory rate, Pulse Rate, and Blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) efficiently
- It has an excellent sensor to track your heart health as well. Features like Heart Rate Variability, Cardiac output, pulse pressure, cardiac index, stroke volume, and mean arterial pressure.
- It can also determine the skin temperature and sweat level of the user.
- The device sends the measurement data to the Biobeat Gateway and a mobile app. Data storage on the cloud is GDPR and HIPAA compliant, and the data can access the data using the Biobeat web platform.
- The Biobeat Wrist monitor is CE certified and approved by the FDA for its blood pressure measurement.
Specifications for Biobeat Wrist Monitor
Battery life – 3 days
Compatible – Android
Pros of Biobeat Wrist Monitor
- True medical-grade equipment
- FDA approval for medical use
- Dedicated sensors
- Excellent hardware
Cons of Biobeat Wrist Monitor
- Insanely expensive
- Still in the development process
- Market reach is limited
Heartisans Blood Pressure Watch – The next big thing
I wanted to include the Heartisans Blood Pressure watch in the list at the top. But, since it has not been released yet, it can be pre-ordered with an Early Bird Offer. The features it claims to have been exciting. So let us see them.
Features of Heartisans Blood Pressure Watch
- The Heartisans Watch will use Pulse Transit Time (PTT) to measure blood pressure. It has been equipped with ECG and Optical heart rate (PPG) sensor for the same
- You will be able to assess your heart rate and heart activity using one lead ECG sensor on the Heartisans watch
- It will function as a daily fitness tracker by counting your steps and calories and tracking all your activities.
- You will be able to make notes against each measurement for better understanding and judgment.
- The complementary app called “Heartisans app” will be available on both Apple Store and PlayStore.
SPECIFICATIONS FOR HEARTISANS WATCH
Battery life – 1 day
Compatibility – iOS and Android
How do fitness trackers measure blood pressure?
There are two popular methods that fitness trackers and smartwatches deploy to measure blood pressure.
Using a precise electronic sensor, fitness trackers using oscillometry measure blood pressure. A cuff present is inflated automatically, which leads to narrowing of the arteries, and blood stops flowing through them.
The pressure is then allowed to decrease slowly through deflation of the cuff, which helps the blood to pass gradually. This is when the pressure sensor detects the pulsation in the arteries in terms of oscillations. When the oscillation reaches the maximum value, it is read down to calculate the diastolic and systolic pressure.
This is how your fitness tracker measures blood pressure with a cuff. This method is close to how medical devices or sphygmomanometers (Blood pressure machines) measure blood pressure. Thus the accuracy is good, and these devices can be used as medical devices if approved by the FDA.
Photo-plethysmographic (PPG) Method
A PPG sensor is basically a heart rate sensor that deploys pulse oximetry to measure blood pressure. It works on the principle of absorption and transmission of light when the sensor illuminates your skin using Red and Infrared waves. This method is comparatively less accurate than oscillometry and cannot be trusted for medical purposes.
Smartwatches and budget fitness trackers use this technology as a single sensor; it can track multiple vital stats of the body.
How to measure blood pressure during exercise?
In order to measure blood pressure during exercise accurately, it is essential to differentiate pulse waves from the noise of motion during exercise. Further, the measurement of blood pressure during exercise is an important method that helps decide if a person is at risk of developing chronic hypertension (High Blood pressure).
- If you have performed aerobic exercise or some other vigorous activity and measured your blood pressure instantly, it will be higher than the usual 120/80 mm of Hg.
- To take a regular reading, wait for at least 20 to 40 minutes for your heart to rest, and you can measure your blood pressure now.
Are smartwatches accurate for blood pressure?
The accuracy of your smartwatch for measuring blood pressure depends on the method it uses. If a cuff is present and it uses oscillometry, it will be accurate to a greater degree than those using PPG or pulse oximetry.
Wearable Blood Pressure monitors have made it easier for people to monitor their blood pressure without depending on medical professionals. Rather than taking measurements once a week or so, you can track your blood pressure 24/7, allowing you to see the bigger picture. You can analyze trends and history for a better assessment and action.