Review – Withings Blood Pressure Monitor – An Excellent Tool to Monitor Heart Health

Like many aspects of healthy living, understanding your blood pressure and the impact it has on your body is critical.  This is especially true for those with a genetic predisposition to heart disease and high blood pressure.  High blood pressure can have long term damaging impacts on your body that can include heart attack and stroke.  Monitoring your blood pressure and your pulse can be done at home with the Withing Blood Pressure Monitor.

The Withing Blood Pressure Monitor allows you to take your blood pressure at home, leveraging the Withings app on your Android or iOS phone to keep track of it on a daily or weekly basis.  While it is not as accurate as a medical office checking your blood pressure, it does serve as a solid tool to help you understand what you eat, drink, weight and exercise do to your blood pressure.  I’ve been using the Withings Blood Pressure Monitor for many months as part of keep track of my blood pressure as heart disease runs in my family.  It has become an valuable tool, giving me information that I can readily share with my doctor to discuss and make dietary or lifestyle changes.  Here is my review of this great medical tool.

Setup and Taking Your Blood Pressure

Withings Blood Pressure Cuff
Withings Blood Pressure Cuff

The blood pressure cuff itself is designed to fit tightly around your upper arm and has a large Velcro strip to secure it tightly.  The cuff is also gender neutral so it works for men and women.  The cuff itself connects to your Android phone via Bluetooth and is setup within the Withing app.   The app is free and serves as the central app for all things Withings.  This includes their scales, blood pressure cuff, watches, thermometers and alarm clock.  All of those devices can tie to the app and it can serve as your one-stop for all your health tracking.  Connecting your blood pressure cuff to the app is done by tapping the + icon in the My Devices section in Settings.

Once you have paired your cuff to the app, strap the cuff to your upper arm.  Ideally you should take your blood pressure in the morning, prior to coffee, for the most accurate reading.  Also, sit still with your arm bent at the elbow and the cuff about heart level as you sit.  With it on your arm, press the power button on the cuff and that will alert the Withings app that you are ready to take your blood pressure.

When you take your blood pressure, the app gives you two options.  First is Regular mode which takes one measurement when you press the Start button.  The second is Auto.  This take three

Blood Pressure Results
Blood Pressure Results

measurements with a 30 second pause between them, and then gives you the average.  This is the best and most accurate measurement if you have time to do it.  Which ever mode you select, when you are ready, press the Start button and the cuff will inflate to measure your blood pressure and pulse rate.  When the measurement is complete, the screen will change to a results page that shows you the measurement.  It will also be color coded.  If it is green, that means that your blood pressure is in an acceptable range for your age.  If it is orange, that is a warning that you have pre-hypertension.  Red indicates you have high blood pressure.

There are many factors that contribute to high blood pressure.  It could be your diet, medications, stress at work or home, and other environmental factors.  Like many things related to your health, it is the trends that you want to keep track of and, of course, the Withings Blood Pressure Cuff is not designed to be a replacement for visits to your doctor to discuss.  When you get your measurement results, you can tap the diagnosis text and it will pop up a sheet that gives you a general guideline for blood pressure measurements.  Again, consult your doctor if you have concerns.  With each measurement you can also make notes about that measurement and what may have contributed to it.  You can also set up a reminder to help you remember to check your blood pressure daily or weekly.

Data in the Withings App

With your blood pressure taken, the Withing apps gives you both tables and graphs that allow you to see how your blood pressure and pulse have fluctuated over time.  The easiest way to get to these charts is from the Timeline screen in the app.  You will see a card for your pulse and one for your blood pressure.  Tap either one to see the graphs of your results plotted over time.  That time can over a month, three months a year or all of your data.  Likewise, if you want to see a chart instead of a graph, you can tap on the paper icon in the upper right of the display and it will show you the data in chart form.

If there is one element of the Withings app that I would like to see improved is the ability to export this data within the app.  Currently it only resides within the app and can’t be exported to a Google Drive or other external source.  In fact, even on the Withings site you can’t export the data.  This would be a good option to have should you want to collate the data with other health information.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a solid, accurate way to measure your blood pressure at home, the Withings Blood Pressure Monitor is one I strongly recommend.  It is accurate and allows you to see how your diet and lifestyle are impacting your blood pressure.  Managing blood pressure is a critical part of a healthy lifestyle and can have long term, adverse effects if not kept in control.

The Withing Blood Pressure Monitor is $99 and available on Amazon

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