Keeping track of your blood pressure at home is critical for achieving good health. According to a study published by Harvard Health, taking a blood pressure measurement once per week is enough to guide people to better blood pressure control. The American Heart Association (AHA) also recommends that people with a high blood pressure monitor it at home.
In this article, you will learn how to keep track of your blood pressure using the apple watch and any compatible blood pressure devices available on the market. However, before delving into that, let`s have a look at why it is essential to keep track of your blood pressure at home.
How Often Should You Measure Your Blood Pressure?
Suppose you are pre-hypertensive, hypertensive, or diabetic. In that case, it is advisable to track your health progress and keep your blood pressure checked with an FDA-approved blood pressure monitor, an app, and a smartwatch or smartphone such as the iPhone. Also, people who suffer from high blood pressure will need to take their blood pressure readings more often than others who don`t have high blood pressure.
But generally, it is best to chat with your doctor to be sure of how often you should measure your blood pressure.
Tracking Your Blood Pressure with Apple Watch?
With the Apple Watch, it is possible to conveniently record your blood pressure and keep track of your heart rate on the go. For people living with heart-related health conditions, such as diabetes, this is one of the easiest ways to keep track of your heart health and blood pressure. In addition, you do not always need to visit the doctor to check your blood pressure, as you can now do so by yourself, all from the comfort of your home.
However, it is essential to note that you cannot measure your blood pressure only with the Apple Watch. Unlike other smartwatches such as the Galaxy Watch 3 or the famous Omron Heartguide, the Apple Watch needs to be paired with an external smart blood pressure monitor.
These devices are the only medically accurate way to measure your blood pressure as they stop the blood flow using calibrated inflatable blood pressure cuffs. They often come with an additional app that must be installed on your Apple device. In essence, third-party medical devices will expand the Apple Watch’s blood pressure capabilities.
You can either use the dedicated app provided by your favorite wireless blood pressure monitor makers or use an external app like the SmartBP app, which is compatible with numerous brands such as A&D, Omron, QardioArm, iHealth, or Withings. Be sure to check the compatibility requirements. Depending on the app, the results are usually color-coded for easy assessment.
Blood pressure data will also be synchronized with Apple HealthKit, the Apple Health app data repository available for the iPhone.
Precautions to Observe to Track Blood Pressure at Home
Just as there`s is a right way to take your blood pressure readings, there are also wrong ways of doing it. So whether you`re getting checked at the doctor`s office or by yourself at home, knowing how to do it right is important for getting accurate readings.
- Avoid drinking or eating anything at least 30 minutes before measuring your blood pressure
- Sit in a comfortable chair that has a back support
- Try and empty your bladder before taking the measurement
- Make sure you rest your arm with the blood pressure cuffs on a table and at chest height
- Avoid crossing your legs and ensure both of your feet are resting on a flat ground
- Avoid making the blood pressure cuff too tight, but it should be snug on your arm.
- Wrap the blood pressure cuff against your bare skin and not over any clothing
- Talking while your blood pressure is being measured can affect the results.
To wrap up
The Apple Watch is not a medical device even though it includes accurate sleep tracking, a SpO2 sensor, an FDA Cleared Atrial Fibrillation detection algorithm, and numerous other health features.
The Apple Watch’s blood pressure capabilities do not yet offer the possibility to track blood pressure independently. But somehow, when paired with a compatible blood pressure monitor, it opens the doors to synchronizing the results with your iPhone and conveniently shares the data with your doctor.
Recently, Apple was granted a new patent suggesting that the new Apple Watch Series may well offer direct blood pressure measurements and expand the many health benefits of the Apple Watch.
We expect that it is just the beginning and that a potential Apple Watch blood pressure feature will also come with extra health capabilities and benefits.