How to Choose the Best BP Monitor for your Practice?
About 90% of Indians are suffering from high blood pressure or hypertension according to research conducted by the Cardiological Society of India in 2018. If you are someone on the verge of it, then keep tracking your blood pressure regularly at home, which would prove to be quite helpful for you. Self-monitoring of blood pressure at home is an important adjunct to clinic measurement as it provides supplementary information to practicing or professional doctors. One can measure blood pressure at home, which can be done in your usual environment. It allows you to get multiple readings to be averaged over time. Both will give more reproducible blood pressure values that are reflective of your everyday blood pressure readings through BP Monitor Kits.
Different types of blood pressure monitors –
There are mainly three types of blood pressure monitors to choose from depending on the way they measure BP. These are –
Upper Arm Cuff Blood Pressure Monitor –
The most popular BP monitor available in the market is the upper arm cuff. If you are using a digital model then the cuff will automatically get inflated and the reading will get displayed. These days most digital monitors come with risk category indicators, so you have an additional benefit.
Wrist mount Blood Pressure –
These monitors are fully automatic as well as easy to use but they are less accurate than the upper arm cuff BP monitors. They are also portable and very simple to use. The only challenge is to position your arm correctly while wearing a wrist BP monitor to get accurate readings.
Finger Blood Pressure Monitor –
The BP monitor is small and portable and like the wrist mount models, it does not require a cuff. The readings are less accurate on this but still can be used to gauge the BP.
Things to know while buying a BP monitor –
Here are some important things to consider when buying a Blood Pressure Monitor. Let’s look at these –
Decide on the type of monitor you want –
One can consult a doctor or pharmacist as they will be able to help in getting the best health care product for you. Blood pressure monitors vary in their inflation models – manual, semi-automatic, or automatic. Each one of these has its benefits which help you in monitoring blood pressure. An automatic monitor also requires the cuff to be wrapped around your upper arm or wrist but automatically inflates by pressing a button, senses and records the blood pressure, and displays the accurate reading on the digital display.
Get the right size of cuff
A wrong-sized arm cuff can affect blood pressure readings. It is the biggest cause of inaccuracies in blood pressure measurement. You can measure around your bare arm halfway between your shoulder and elbow using a closed measuring tape to find the perfect size. Most upper-arm models have two sizes or a wide-range cuff that most people first wear. Make sure the upper arm circumference falls within the range of blood pressure monitor cuffs.
Look for accuracy through clinical validation –
Various standards and recognized protocols exist globally to measure the accuracy of automatic blood pressure measurement devices. Make sure the bp monitor you have selected has been tested, validated, and approved for accuracy by accredited bodies. A reputable device manufacturer will state whether its products adhere to an accredited standard on its packaging.
Choose an affordable blood pressure monitor –
Monitors for blood pressure vary in price depending on their brand and features. Some of the more expensive models may include features that you don’t even need. Choose an appropriate blood pressure monitor that is suited for use and needs.
Opt. for ease of use –
Buy a blood pressure monitor that is easy for home monitoring and be sure to display on the monitor that it is easy to understand. The directions for applying the cuff and operating the monitor correctly should be clear. One should consider its portability if you are a frequent traveller or are advised to track your blood pressure multiple times.
Keep track of extra features –
To make your blood pressure routine as simple as possible, manufacturers have come up with various extra features that benefit you. Some additional features that you may consider are heart-related measurements, connectivity, memory storage, adjustable inflation level, etc.
Read warranty option –
Most reputable blood pressure monitors and cuffs come with a warranty that will guarantee you the proper function of the monitor for 1 to 5 years. Kindly check the warranty terms and conditions to know whether it covers the whole monitor or only the digital display or the actual monitor, but not the cuff.
These aspects will help you choose the right blood pressure monitor. Understand your needs and requirements and buy a monitor that fulfills all your needs. So, it is recommended to consult with the doctor before buying or using any healthcare product.