Devices to determine blood pressure (sphygmomanometers) were first invented in the late 1800s by Samuel Siegfried Karl Ritter von Basch. Blood pressure is a pretty good indicator of heart health as it measures how hard the heart has to work to circulate blood in the closed system of the body. A healthy heart will have a typical reading of 120/80 mm Hg.
Blood pressure monitors (BPM) work by using an inflatable cuff to collapse, then release the artery under the cuff in a controlled manner, and measure at what pressure blood flow starts, and at what pressure it flows unimpeded. Modern units operate under the same principle, but have automated many of the steps for convenience and ease of use.
iHealth Labs have introduced a unit which we found to be easy to setup, very portable, and convenient to use with or without a smartphone. Clinically tested and FDA approved, the iHealth View Wireless Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor (BPM) gives reliable readings at home or on the go. Users can now check their blood pressure and pulse measurement almost instantly anytime that is convenient.
The iHealth View BPM is completely self-contained: integrated pressure cuff, built-in digital display, internal rechargeable battery. There is nothing to lose or leave behind. There is one button and a USB charging socket on the device.
The cloth-lined cuff has a curve at one end to make it easy to hook it on the wrist. The band is long enough to wrap around the largest wrist. Velcro at the end makes it easy to get a comfortable fit.
The View turns on automatically when it is attached and senses movement. As a wrist-based BPM, it is most accurate (and will only work) when the monitor is level with the heart. The display has some very simple arrows to tell you when it is too high (up arrows) or too low (down arrows), or when it is “just right.”
When properly positioned, pressing the button will activate the unit; the cuff will inflate, the readings will be taken, and the blood pressure and heart rate results will be displayed. The data is stored in the unit and may be downloaded to the smartphone using the iHealth app.
We found the iHealth View to be a very simple to use blood pressure monitor, even for our 80-year-old parents. It is nice that iHealth made it such that the View will work with or without a smartphone present, yet the data is still available for download at a later time.
We will use the View on a daily basis for a month and report back with our thoughts on it and the usefulness of the features of the iHealth app.
NOTE: Wrist blood pressure monitors tend to read slightly higher than the typical arm version. However, if the goal is to monitor trends over time, a home monitor that is more convenient to use may be better as it will more likely be used consistently.
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