The Latest Innovation in ‘At Home’ Blood Pressure Monitors
The development of blood pressure monitors for use at home has reached an interesting point, perhaps even pivotal point, as technological improvements are now making it possible to design a blood pressure device which will fit comfortably around the wrist. The next generation wrist BP monitors, like the Omron Project Zero 2.0 in the photo, have a sleek watch-like shape combined with cutting-edge technology.
At this time Doctors and other Medical Experts are still recommending the use of the more traditional arm blood pressure cuff – there are some questions about the accuracy of the more recently developed wrist monitors.
Like any new technology however it will take time to weed out the bugs and make the new device a viable option for monitoring blood pressure away from the Doctor’s Office or Clinic. In the case of Omron – an established company in the field of blood pressure monitors – extensive research has been done based on 40 years of experience in the industry.
And of course the Establishment always tends to drag its heels whenever a new technology becomes available, as they wait to see if, as in this case, the new wrist monitors are legitimate contenders for measuring blood pressure accurately, or just “pseudo-science wearables” which look pretty but don’t really do the job reliably.
Omron is one company which is leading the charge when it comes to this cutting edge technology. Company President and CEO, Randy Kellogg describes it like this:
“Omron continues to evolve the experience of checking your blood pressure with technology that is increasingly more portable, more mobile, more connected and easier to use. Checking your blood pressure only in a doctor’s office or in a machine at a pharmacy has been redefined by convenient clinically-accurate Omron personal medical devices that can be used at home, at work or on the go”
- With the arm cuff style blood pressure monitors there is often an unpleasant sensation as the upper arm is compressed by the inflating cuff. This has been likened to a kind of “strangling” effect on the arm by some people.
- On the other hand, the design of the latest generation of wrist BP monitors, such as the Omron Project Zero 2.0, resembles a smartwatch and fits comfortably on the wrist.
- While earlier wrist monitors were somewhat clunky and not meant to wear for any length of time, this new streamlined version is completely wearer-friendly. It is portable and can be worn throughout the day so that blood pressure readings can easily be taken anywhere – at home, in the office, and virtually anywhere else one chooses. This convenience is a definite plus!
- The technology is still quite new and to some extent not yet fully proven. Measuring blood pressure at the wrist has been a challenge in the past. Your wrist needs to be in just the right position relative to your heart. Consequently, the results have not been considered to be as accurate as the more traditional arm cuff devices.
- When finally approved for retail use, these devices will initially be pricey. For example, it is estimated that the Omron Project Zero 2.0 will start with a MSRP of around $300.
Personally I believe that these next generation wrist blood pressure monitors are going to become very popular and eventually represent the at home monitoring device of choice. As in the case with smartphones and computers the technology has always evolved towards miniaturization of the product.
It simply makes the devices more flexible because they are portable, easier and more convenient to use – and more discreet, which is an important consideration for some. In the case of the Omron Project Zero 2.0 for example, most people would mistake it for a smartwatch or some other kind of fitness device.
As for the accuracy concerns compared to more traditional arm cuff monitors, the video below explains the research and development which has gone into the production of the latest Omron wrist monitor to ensure it measures blood pressure correctly and reliably.
*Note in the video how the device will not start inflating until it has been placed in the correct position at heart level and how quickly it is able to read the blood pressure.
For more information on this exciting development in wearable blood pressure monitoring technology click here
Although this product will not be available commercially till late this year, or possible by this time next year, I am sure that when it does surface it will be a game changer. I, for one, am definitely looking forward to its arrival in the stores.