Measuring my blood pressure is one of the big revelations of my self-measuring journey. I measure every morning and it has told me much about my stress levels and how I can handle them.
So, I wholeheartedly recommend measuring blood pressure. The problem is of course that tracking devices like the Jawbone, Fuelband or Fitbit don’t do that. You need a separate device.
The Withings Blood Pressure Monitor is such a device.
The newest model is wireless and works on iOS and Android – though it’s not yet cleared by the FDA in the States. I tested the old model during the last nine month. It currently retails at $129,99 but only works on iOS.
The device is not exactly cheap…is it worth it?
Three things I like about it
1. I like the ease-of-use
The device isn’t small but it’s quite easy to use. I just have to connect it to the iPhone and strap it onto my arm. It inflates itself once I push the button. The measurement takes thirty seconds. You need to take your time, but it’s a comfortable experience.
2. It works well
My blood pressure pops up on the iPhone as soon as the measurement is done. I never experienced any glitches. A green, orange or red light tells me whether my blood pressure is in the acceptable range or not. And I can see my heart rate too: like blood pressure, it’s an important indicator of your current and future health.
3. Easy to take along
The Monitor is not exactly small. But it folds quite easily and it doesn’t take much space in my bag. That’s important to me because I want to measure every day.
Over to the things I don’t like so much
1. I’d love more information
Seeing my own values everyday has made me want to know more about blood pressure:
- Why is important?
- What does it do?
- How can I get it down?
I researched all that on the Internet and I wish Withings helped me a little here. It’s something that the Jawbone Up does very well: every day I get little tips on sleep and exercise. It’s informative and makes the device more fun to use.
2. My model doesn’t have Bluetooth
The monitor only connects via cable and that’s a bit cumbersome. I love devices like the Fitbit Flex that send my data to my phone without me having to do anything. Bluetooth would be very nice. The good news is: the newest model has it.
3. I can’t use it on my iPhone5
The cable is fixed to the device. I can’t change it and that’s really bad because the plug doesn’t work with the iPhone5. If I didn’t have my old iPod the Monitor would now be useless to me. But, here again: it shouldn’t be a problem with the new wireless model. If you’re in the States, I’d wait until it comes out there too.
Do I recommend it?
I wish there was a way to measure blood pressure with the same devices that measure our steps and sleep. But for now, there is no alternative to measuring the traditional way. And the Withings Blood Pressure Monitor does that well. It’s easy to use and looks good. More importantly it works well and doesn’t show signs of wear after nine months of daily use.
But, I do recommend that you go with the new wireless version. It looks pretty much the same device and gets rid of the biggest flaw: the cable.