BLOOD PRESSURE MONITORS REVIEW
Elevated blood pressure or hypertension is nothing new, but the same cannot be said for the machines we use to measure blood pressure. Every year, major companies come out with better models to increase the accuracy of measurement, to offer new and innovative features, and of course, lower the cost of the machines.
Lets see what the most popular meters on the markets have to offer for 2014/2015.
We'll start off with the most innovative ones, the ones that get us most excited!
Meet the ROSSMAX MONITORING BPM AC701K
I'll admit it. This Swiss designed baby was the only blood pressure meter that got me that excited this year. Armed with what they call "DK Technology", the meter has a real functioning stethoscope in the cuffs!
DK refers to Digital Korotkoff. According to wikipedia,
Korotkoff sounds are blood flow sounds that healthcare providers observe while taking blood pressure with a sphygmomanometer over the brachial artery in the antecubital fossa. These sounds appear and disappear as the blood pressure cuff is inflated and deflated.
Doctors measure the blood pressure of patients manually by listening to the Korotkoff sounds.
Therefore, the meter uses both conventional oscillometry AND the digital korotkoff sound to give you your money's worth of accuracy. To put it simply, it's like going over your manual mathematical calculations again with a calculator. The Rossmax AC701k also comes with a socket for optional linking to your PC, to enable you to generate graphs and charts of your readings. Of course, it comes with all the basic luxuries of irregular heartbeat detection, Blood pressure stage indicator and so forth.
Priced reasonably, this has been a hit throughout the year.
Now this is another innovative model, where it's stand out point is something no other meter can claim to do-- it detects AFIB (Atrial fibrilation), instead of just giving you the "irregular" signal. Atrial fibrillation (AF) has strong associations with other cardiovascular diseases, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease (CAD), valvular heart disease, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension.
In addition, it is certified to be used by pregnant ladies, and the meter will not falsely pick up and heartbeat of the fetus.
The build of the meter is by far the classiest, and it the comes with Microlife's Preformed conical cuff. This type of cuff makes self measurement much easier and comfortable.
This meter also comes with a PC link, and the only downside is the hefty price tag. But then again, some would argue that for the features that it's offering, the price is actually tantamount to it's VALUE!
This is one breakthrough meter in terms of technology. Not only does it connect wirelessly to the Vitadock App that connects to your smartphone (iOS and android), but it's arguably the only meter in Malaysia now that uses the new "Inflation technology". This makes measuring blood pressure faster than the conventional deflation models. Certified by the MDD and coupled with all the features you'll expect to see in a blood pressure meter, you can be sure you're getting the cutting edge in consumer blood pressure technology when you purchase the BU550.
This model is Terumo's Mid range blood pressure meter. Far better in terms of accuracy and comfort when compared to its budget model. The reason being it has a "Best-fit cuff", which makes putting on the cuff a breeze, and "Automatic optimum pressure" technology to ensure that no uncomfortable over-inflation occurs. The meter also comes with a handy storage compartment for the cuff. Manual inflation is also possible with this model, something less seen in other blood pressure meters. Other basic frills like dual user memories, extra large displays are of course there.
The Budget/Basic meters that stand out.
This meter is the successor to the very successful Medisana MTS. The difference is an added "set" button, and a fresher look. They maintained the successful formula of squeezing an elephant into a fridge---meaning almost everything you need will be in this compact body.
- Systolic, Diastolic and pulse rate
- 2 sets of memories (with time and date)
- Irregular heart beat indicator (impressive for the price it's being sold at!)
- WHO traffic light system for easy understanding of the readings
For it's price tag, it's quite hard to find any fault in this meter. We expect it to continue the excellent path of it's predecessor.
This new "baby" Rossmax uses the conventional ocsillometry method to determine your pressure. Nothing too fancy about it, but it does come with a 5 year warranty in Malaysia! It's the only meter in its price bracket to offer this long a warranty. On top of that, this Swiss design meter gives you a hypertension indicator, which fascilitates the interpretation of the readings for the layman.
Small, compact and cheap. A good buy especially if you're one who values long warranties.
This little omron is probably the best valued Omron in its entire range. It has the basic systolic, diastolic and pulse rate; it has irregular heartbeat detector, and even a hypertension indicator (albeit one that is hard to understand). It also has a cuff wrapping guide, which makes it not that much different from the "Ultra premium" RM500 plus model of Omron. Therefore, if you're going to buy Omron, this is probably the model to go for.
*Note: The cuff size is a tad small for all Omron ranges. Therefore if you are one of the bigger sized homo sapiens, you may want to take special notice.
This wrist meter is another example of packing your wardrobe into a suitcase. This little pocket dynamite packs in all the features you would expect on a more expensive meter, into a tiny compartment that fits on your wrist, for a price under RM200! It's much more convenient to use and carry about, mainly because no cuffs and pipes are involved.
However, it measures pressure based on the veins on your wrist, therefore the sensitivity may be slightly compromised if compared to the conventional upper arm blood pressure meters. Having said that, it IS still MDD certified in Germany.